iTunes App Store: Buy the Numbers

Apple says it has “over 500,000” apps in the app store (up from 50,000 just over two years ago), and we know a few other details about the apps in there, such as the top free and paid apps, top apps in the various categories.  And so on.

But more detailed numbers are harder to find. For a project I’m building, I’d like to know the number of publishers, how many apps they’ve published, and a few other details.  Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t report metrics like that. But they do make the app store available on the web, via iTunes Preview, and web crawlers are a solved problem … after a few hours of tinkering I had a decent crawler, and data on all 412,018 apps!

I’ve started looking at the raw data, and was tickled by these findings:

  • I count 412,018 apps.  
    • Close to Apple’s 500,000 number, but not quite.
    • Where are the other 88,000 apps?  They’re probably enterprise apps, or aren’t in the US store. (I didn’t scrape any international stores)
  • There are 168,423 free apps. (41%)
  • There are a surprising number of apps over 1GB: 482 to be exact (that’s just over 0.1%)
  • There are 256 apps over $99, and 18 at $999, the highest price Apple allows.  Those top eighteen are interesting:
    • BarMax will help you pass the bar exams in New York and California.
    • There’s iVip Black, raising the bar in douche baggery.  It’s $999.99, but hold on, don’t buy it without reading the fine print:  

Upon download, prospective members will be required to certify they are High Net Worth Individuals with assets and/or income in excess of £1 million”

    • That’s right, after spending $999 you might still be rejected from actually using it!  Imagine your embarrassment next time you’re on Necker Island and your app stops working.

Finally, to answer my initial question: there are 98,777 app publishers in the store, or an average of about four apps per publisher.  There’s a wealth of information within that number too, but this is ample for this post.

FYI- the folks at 148Apps report some daily statistics about the store at http://148apps.biz/app-store-metrics/.  Naturally I found their site after I scraped the store myself! Our numbers don’t quite match up, so I’ll be exploring the stats in more detail over the coming weeks.

Image: 02-10-11 © Anton Zheltov 

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