Earlier today, a number of different news sources (including this one) reported that Apple's (News - Alert) iOS App Store had hit an amazing milestone. Mobclix, an ad exchange network and third-party application tracking service, noted that the store surpassed the 300,000 app mark over the weekend, meaning that 50,000 new applications had been added in the last six weeks alone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs (News - Alert) said on Sept. 1 that the company had a portfolio of 250,000 applications.
While the most recent data was not reported by Apple itself, the news of the unprecedented growth has been a hot topic in the technology space and has been detailed by mostly every media source in the industry. Unfortunately, it may not be totally accurate.
Fortune is reporting that Mobclix did not note the number of apps that are currently available for download, but rather the number that have been launched since the online store opened. In essence, Mobclix failed to count the apps that are currently inactive or have been pulled from the catalog.
AppShopper.com and 148apps.biz, two leading app tracking services, told the news source that, as of Sunday morning, the App Store contained fewer than 280,000 applications. However, both of these sources offered differing totals. 148apps reported that the store boasts 278,691 applications, while AppShopper noted that the technology giant owns the rights to 279,975 active apps.
It is also unclear how many applications are currently available through Google's (News - Alert) Android Market Place, Apple's chief competitor. While AndroLib.com reports that more than 113,000 apps have been launched through Google's platform, the company said in its earnings report last week that about 90,000 apps are available for download.
Although it is clearly difficult to define or even estimate the number of apps that are available today, it is obvious that the space is growing faster than it ever has. Some say, too fast.
For every one application that experiences widespread adoption, literally thousands of others get lost in the commotion and quickly become relics. Moreover, it can be very difficult for consumers to wade through the minutia of apps in a specific category to find one that truly fits their needs.
Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf