The iPad has already exceeded expectations in many ways. From one of the fastest selling personal computing devices in the history of technology to the rate of adoption among all facets of society, the iPad has rewritten the book on how a new device enters the market. Now comes news about developer adoption as well. The iPad App Store recently crossed the 10,000 apps mark. That’s over 10,000 applications in a little over three months. That pace of development is astounding when viewed in the light of Apple’s famously slow approvals process.
According to MacStories, the number of paid apps has hovered around the 80% mark with 2107 of those being games. By comparison, only 75% of iPhone-specific apps are paid. While this shows a slightly bias towards paid apps on the iPad, the ratio of paid to free apps is somewhat similar. The fact that roughly only 20 – 25% of App Store applications are free to download is astounding in itself. It shows the power of the high volume, low price model of application development. Before Apple pioneered the idea of an App Store, the traditional development model was low volume, high price. Developers labored for months or years on feature-rich, expansive applications that tried to encompass a whole topic or genre. They depended on making back their money by charging a high price on relatively low volumes. Now, the emphasis is more on individual developers making smaller applications that focus on a very specific feature set. A developer can make a very specific application in a short timeframe, post it to the App Store, and make back their investment at a relatively low unit price. The rate of growth amongst iPad applications only underscores how successful that model has become.
It will be interesting to see if the pace of growth continues over the coming months. The iPad has started something (it’s a bit premature to call it a revolution) and I think it will at least sustain itself, if not grow. Will the iPad continue to outpace the growth records set by its cousin the iPhone? We need to wait and see. Let’s give it a year and we’ll see where we’re at in April 2011.
What do you think of the unprecedented growth in iPad apps? Is this just initial developer excitement or a long term growth trend? Leave us a comment and let us know.