May 16, 2013
Apple Store Hits Historic 50 Billionth App, Ohio Man Wins Wins $10K
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
[Update]Apple hit their 50 billionth mark several hours before DeWitt and Macworld´s predictions on Wednesday afternoon. An Ohio man downloaded the lucky 50 billionth app which won him a free $10,000 gift card to the App Store. At just the right time yesterday, Brandon Ashmore downloaded the game “Say the Same Thing” by Space Inch, LLC. This is a free game from the band OK Go which asks two people to find a common word from two random words. The execs at Apple are obviously pleased that they´ve hit this milestone, changing the splash page at Apple.com from the countdown to an image of an iPad mini running the app Paper to spell out a handwritten “Thanks.”
Just as Apple was turning their odometer over 50 billion, Google announced during their I/O developers conference in San Francisco that their own app store, Google Play, is conveniently nearing 48 billion downloads. A surprising 2.5 billion of these apps were downloaded last month alone, according to VentureBeat. [http://venturebeat.com/2013/05/15/apple-hits-50-billion-app-downloads-just-ahead-of-google/] Apple´s developer conference will take place in the same San Francisco building next month, starting on June 10.
Just as they´ve done in years past, Apple is celebrating another App Store achievement by giving away thousands of dollars. For more than a week now, the home page at Apple.com and iTunes has featured a running ticker counting up to the App Store´s 50 billionth download. The lucky person to download this app will be awarded with a $10,000 gift card to the App Store.
To up the ante, the first to download the first 50 after 50 billion will also receive $500 App Store gift cards. The countdown has been ticking for several days at this point, but according to the team at Macworld, the 50 billionth could be downloaded by Wednesday. If you´ve been holding several apps in queue for purchase, now might be the time to start downloading. Others have even taken up the task of trying to figure out a more precise window of time when this number will be reached.
Apple is accustomed to using these milestone moments for marketing magic. For instance, in April of 2009, the App Store saw its one billionth download less than two years after it first opened its digital doors. As more iOS devices began to saturate the market, these numbers quickly skyrocketed. The Store reached the 10 billion mark in January 2011, 25 billion in February 2012, and is finally nearing the big Five Oh.
According to Apple press, nearly 800 apps are downloaded every second on average. With this number in hand, Macworld has done some quick, back of the envelope style calculations to estimate when you´ll have your best shot at winning that $10,000 gift card. Though Apple claims 800 apps are downloaded every second, the ticker on Apple.com and iTunes appears to be counting down about 1,000 apps each second. This is assuming the ticker is at all accurate, of course, and not simply a running banner.
Based on their calculations, the best time to download an app is around 10 AM GMT tomorrow morning, or 5 AM EST, 2 AM PST in the US.
Fortune editor Philip Elmer-DeWitt has a more precise estimation.
“As of 1 p.m. EST Tuesday, apps were being downloaded at the rate of 813 per second. At that speed, the App Store would hit 50 billion by 12:39 p.m. Wednesday,” writes DeWitt in his Apple 2.0 column.
“But we expect things to accelerate as the goal approaches.”
Some app developers are even using this giveaway to promote their own apps, saying they´ll kick in some extra cash and prizes if the lucky winner downloads their app.
Addappt, a social networking app, said they´ll give away another $10,000 if the winning user downloads their app and wins late this evening or early tomorrow morning. According to CNET, messaging service Hike is promising to give away “$100,000 worth of Apple products and accessories” if the app winner downloads their app.
For Apple fans, this could feel like the lottery. The more you play, the better your chances of winning. If DeWitt and MacWorld are correct, it may be beneficial to start downloading apps this evening and through the morning.