Apple's App Store hits 100K apps: News or rhetoric?

Apple today announced that its App store has more than 100,000 apps available for download and use on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The number of applications available on the platform has been a major selling point for Apple's iPhone, and the company has made sure to keep the public informed when its catalog grows. In July, the company announced when it had hit 65,000 available apps; and In September, it let us know when it had exceeded 85,000.

In fact, ever since July 2008, when the App Store debuted with only 500 apps, the number of available applications has been used as a running tally to illustrate how much more viable a platform the iPhone is than its competitors.


In every announcement related to the App Store's number of apps or downloads this year, Phil Schiller uses the same adjective to describe the App Store: Revolutionary.

But here's the brilliant thing about this which people often overlook: The viability of Apple's platform has little to do with its own actions.

It's the same phenomenon that made social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook so successful: Any number of social networks had equally usable platforms, but they just didn't have the user momentum. People don't use a social network based upon the platform, they use it for the other people who are already there. It's the same with the App Store. Developers have rushed to put out as many apps as they can because there are people out there downloading them.

Michael Gartenberg, vice president of Strategy and Analysis at Interpret, LLC, said it very succinctly last week: "Apple didn't make iPhone a success. Microsoft didn't make Windows a success. Google didn't make search a success. People did that for them."

So is it news that 100,000 apps have been created for the iPhone and iPod Touch platform?


But it's not an achievement by Apple. As Phil Schiller has repeatedly said, it's a revolution, an action of the people.

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