Apple’s subtle “300 million iPhone apps downloaded” message

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Apple’s subtle “300 million iPhone apps downloaded” message

Typically, Apple isn’t shy letting us know about iTunes download numbers every time a big hurdle is crossed and its marketing staff usually beats the drum and highlights the significance until every journalist really got it. That was the case with the AppStore as well, at least initially, but it is clear that the company is safeguarding AppStore numbers a bit more than other sales, shipment and download figures.

But eagle-eyed Jim Dalrymple of MacWorld found an updated number in a rather unusual spot. An ad published in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that focuses on the variety of applications available through the AppStore mentions in the fineprint section that there are more than 10,000 applications available and more than 300 million programs have been downloaded so far. The placement has a by-the-way character, but the content is actually impressive and implies that the AppStore is now shifting about 100 million applications per month.

During its quarterly earnings conference call with analysts at the end of October, CEO Steve Jobs mentioned that the company had crossed the 200 million download mark and offered more than 5500 applications. There is nothing modest about 100 million downloads per month and we are a bit surprised that Apple does not make a much bigger deal out of it.

However, it remains unclear how many applications are actually sold, as Apple does not break about the download numbers of free and paid applications from the overall number of downloaded applications.