Apple’s already in some hot water for allegedly conspiring to rig eBook prices and now the United States Department of Justice has revealed some new evidence showing that the company’s anticompetitive practices may have extended beyond mere price-fixing. GigaOM reports that the DOJ is alleging that Apple “changed in-app purchase rules to require that any content sold through apps must also be sold through the iTunes Store, and forbid publishers and retailers from sending users to websites outside their apps to make purchases.” The DOJ says that the effect of this policy change was “to make it more difficult for consumers using Apple devices to compare eBook prices among different retailers, and for consumers to purchase eBooks from other retailers on Apple’s devices.” Apple has denied the DOJ’s allegations that it rigged eBook prices and will likely appeal the department’s ruling.
Apple’s App Store has a much better reputation for security than Google Play but that may not last long if more hackers take advantage of a new flaw discovered by a team of researchers at Georgia Tech. Technology Review reports that the researchers successfully posted a malicious app to the App Store that contained fragmented pieces of code that only assembled themselves into malware after users had installed the app. The researchers say that they were able to get away with this because Apple apparently only ran the app for a few seconds before deciding that it was safe and sending it along to the App Store. More →
Although Apple will likely at least refresh its user interface for its mobile devices with iOS 7 at WWDC next week, at least one app developer is hoping the company will seriously rethink some core features of its App Store. John August, a screenwriter who also works on mobile apps through his company Quote-Unquote Apps, writes that the format of Apple’s “most downloaded” apps chart hurts smaller app developers and also limits users’ exposure to different types of apps. More →
The new Fiksu report on Apple’s App Store has a fascinating nugget about its daily download volume, which in April ticked up to 5.61 million app downloads from 5.02 million in March. But that level is still far below January’s 6.1 million apps and only marginally above October 2012 level of 5.4 million downloads. Fiksu measures top-200 free downloads, but this is a category that should be growing faster than paid downloads due to an industry shift towards free-to-play model. So the App Store download trend of both paid and free apps could be even weaker than what Fiksu reports.
Of course, January is exceptionally strong month due to consumers who received a Christmas iPhone going on download sprees. But having an April download volume still nearly 10% below the January level is a bit of a downer for the app industry. It’s clear that the iPhone volume sales growth slowdown to single digits in America is having a substantial impact on download volumes. This is one reason why Google Play is narrowing the download gap so rapidly: Not only has the user experience and app selection of Google Play improved over the past 18 months, but Apple’s own app download growth has ground to a halt at least in the dominant U.S. market.
The countdown on Apple’s website stopped late Wednesday indicating that the company’s App Store has surpassed 50 billion downloads. The milestone comes just 14 months after Apple announced 25 billion apps had been downloaded from its popular marketplace. Apple launched the App Store in July 2008 and downloads have increased steadily over the past five years. The company’s first milestone came in January 2011 when the store surpassed 10 billion downloads, followed by 25 billion last March. Apple will reward the individual who downloaded the 50 billionth application with a $10,000 App Store gift card and 50 runners-up will each receive a $500 card.
The app stores for the four leading mobile operating systems have grown 11% from the fourth quarter in 2012 to the first quarter of this year, according to data from Canalys. Combined downloads from Apple’s (AAPL) App Store, Google Play, the Windows Phone Marketplace and BlackBerry World totaled more than 13.4 billion in Q1 2013, while revenue climbed 9% to reach $2.2 billion. App downloads remained strong in North America and Europe, however some of the strongest growth came from emerging markets such as South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia, which have benefited from a fast adoption rate of smartphones and tablets. Paid apps continue to remain popular in more mature mobile markets, though. More →
It can’t be said enough: people really do love mobile apps. And according to new analysis published by Asymco’s Horace Dediu, Apple (AAPL) fans may love mobile apps to the tune of 100 million downloads per day by the start of 2017. Dediu arrived at this figure after he looked at growth trends in mobile app downloads over the past few years and found that app downloads have grown at a significantly faster rate than other downloadable media such as songs or books. Dediu also surmised that since app downloads spiked from an average of 50 million per day for most of 2012 to 65 million per day over the holiday season, the App Store could see its first ever 100 million download day as soon as 2015.
Yes, people really do love mobile apps. Apple (AAPL) on Monday announced that its App Store has delivered a total of 40 billion iOS app downloads since its launch in 2008. What’s more, the company served up nearly 20 billion downloads in 2012 alone, meaning that the company has roughly doubled its total App Store downloads over the past year alone. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said that 2012 was “an incredible year for the iOS developer community” and said that “developers have made over $7 billion on the App Store.”
DIY developers adore the $35 Raspberry Pi and huge communities have enabled the Linux-powered computer to do cool things like emulate Super Nintendo games and run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. What’s next for the cheap computer? The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced it’s launching the “Pi Store” – an app store created in partnership with IndieCity and Velocix. Anyone will be able to download and upload their own apps to the Pi Store for consideration according to Raspberry Pi’s website. The Pi Store will have 23 free apps at launch as well as paid content. As with the success of the Raspberry Pi itself, the Pi Store’s success hinges on the community’s support. The Pi Store can be accessed here.
Apple (AAPL) this week released its annual lists of the top free, paid and grossing iPhone and iPad apps of 2012. To no one’s surprise, a majority of the top grossing apps for the year were games. In fact, seven of the ten highest-grossing iPad apps were gaming apps, as were ten of the highest-grossing iPhone apps. The highest-grossing smartphone app was Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North and the highest-grossing tablet app was DragonVale. The top free app for the iPhone was Google’s new standalone YouTube app and the top free iPad app was Skype, while Angry Birds Space topped the paid charts for both devices. The lists paint a disturbing picture for the handheld gaming industry, which some have said is being turned into a niche with the rise of tablets and smartphones.
Yes, mobile applications are pretty popular. Mobile app marketing platform Appsfire said on its Twitter account Monday that Apple’s (AAPL) App Store “has seen 1 million apps ever created since launch.” TheNextWeb caught up with Appsfire co-founder Ouriel Ohayon, who explained that roughly 493,000 of the million apps submitted were paid applications, while around 159,000 were games. In total, there are around 736,000 apps available on the App Store today, meaning that just over a quarter of all apps submitted to the store have since been removed. Apple said last month that it had served more than 35 billion total app downloads from the App Store since it launched in 2008.
For a while now, developers looking to make serious money selling their apps were better off trying their luck at Apple’s (AAPL) App Store than with Google (GOOG) Play. But over at Tech-Thoughts, Sameer Singh has found some new data suggesting that in-app purchases are likely helping Google Play close the gap. Specifically, Singh looks at four different estimates for how much revenue iOS and Android apps generate on their respective app stores. While all four estimates varied widely in terms of how much total revenue each store generated, they also all clearly show Google Play apps increasing their revenues significantly over the past nine months. Singh writes that “if the revenue growth data is accurate, it does appear that the growth in in-app purchases has reduced the revenue gap between iOS and Google Play.”
App Store customers went through a rather frustrating ordeal over the weekend, as Apple’s (AAPL) online app market was plagued by a bug that blocked any attempts to buy apps. MacRumors reported on Sunday that the bug, which affected both iOS and Mac users, continuously asked users to accept updated Terms and Conditions, thus preventing them from actually purchasing any apps. MacRumors says that Apple corrected the problem within hours of noticing it but didn’t provide any comment about what caused the issue. More →