Apple has sold 200M iOS devices, 25M iPads

iPad 2

During today's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software, announced that to date 200 million iOS devices have shipped. Apple also shipped 25 million iPads in the first 14 months. Forstall used the data points to prepare the audience for the introduction of iOS 5.

Forstall offered other important data points:

1. 15 billion downloads from iTunes.

2. 130 million iBooks downloaded.

3. 14 billion downloads from App Store.

4. 90,000 iPad apps available.

5. $2.5 billion paid to App Store developers.

Earlier, CEO Steve Jobs took the keynote stage for one of Apple's most important developer conference keynotes ever. Operating system development now follows two closely-aligned tracks -- Mac OS X and iOS. But the latter OS -- for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch -- has taken on greater importance. During fiscal second quarter 2011, iOS device sales accounted for about two-thirds of Apple revenues.

But Jobs didn't stay long. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, introduced Lion to WWDC attendees. Forstall followed with iOS 5. In January, Jobs went on indefinite medical leave from Apple. That Jobs didn't give the demos is commentary on his state of health. During healthier days, Apple's CEO would do most of the presentation himself. Still, his presence is meant to convey something to Apple investors and Wall Street analysts.

During this week, Apple will make its strongest pitch yet for iOS, even as Android momentum continues. Android phone activations now exceed 400,000 a day. Meanwhile, the first true wave of Android tablets is starting. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 officially launches June 17, but will be available June 8 from one store only -- the Best Buy Union Square in New York City. Last week, Samsung hosted two meetups, in New York and San Francisco, for tech geeks and Android enthusiasts. It's all part of a massive marketing effort supporting the tablet running Android 3.1. Other tablets are coming.

Forstall made the big pitch, as he introduced iOS 5, touting 1,500 new APIs and 200 new user features. Taking a cue from Android, iOS 5 will feature a new "Notifications Center." It's one feature I personally am looking forward to, having become addicted to Android's notifications bar. Like Android, iOS 5 users swipe down to get their notifications.

Newsstand is a compelling new addition that brings subscription content from pubs like Popular Science, Vanity Fair and Wred into one place. Right now, the content is spread out into disparate apps.

Twitter is now integrated into iOS. Jenna Wortham, New York Times tech reporter, tweeted: "So....Twitter, not Facebook, is Apples answer to the rise of group-messaging, BBM and texting services?" I agree. Why not Facebook?

In another long-overdue Android catch-up feature, iOS users will be able to send photos from apps other than Apple's -- from camera or photo gallery.

Other updates include improvements to Safari, such as tabs, and another Android catch-up feature -- over-the-air updates. Then there is Apple's BlackBerry Messenger Killer. Apple will ship iOS 5 in the Fall.

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