Apple App Store Hits 15 Billion Downloads, Revamps iAds

Apple continues to build its position of dominance when it comes to app sales. Having just hit 15 billion app downloads, Apple is also revamping their approach to selling iAds in an attempt to win over more app developers.

The 15 Billion Benchmark

Between all iOS devices (i.e., iPods, iPhones, and iPads), Apple App Store has seen 15 billion total application downloads. That's coming from 200 million iOS devices that have been activated in over 90 countries, and which have access to "425,000 apps and [...] an incredible array of over 100,000 native iPad apps," according to the Apple Press Release. And what does all this mean for developers? Well … cash. "Apple has paid developers over $2.5 billion to date."

The 15 billion figure puts Apple at three times the Google figure for downloads, which was at 4.5 billion during Google I/O. A huge chunk of iOS's lead, however, stems from the popularity of the iPad – which, in the U.S., holds more than 90 percent of the tablet market.

As a footnote, the news of this success comes at the same time that Apple failed to garner the term "app store" as its own, exclusive title. This ruling comes in response to the injunction attempt against Amazon's app store. While not seen as a generic title just yet, U.S. Judge Phyllis Hamilton indicated that "Apple has not established 'a likelihood of confusion'" for the term, according to Reuters.

The New Sales Approach to iAds

iAd NetworkiAds, Apple's in-app advertising system, has previously been seen as little more than a niche option for Apple app developers. Sine iAds are costly and are exclusive to iOS devices, many developers have chosen Google's AdMob or one of several third-party advertising mechanisms to monetize their app.

According to Bloomberg, "iAd mobile-advertising business has cut rates by as much as 70 percent." Additionally, Apple is selling advertising packages to ad re-sellers in dramatically smaller chunks. While the previous minimum purchase was one million dollars, Apple is now cutting ad agencies deals for batches of as little as $300,000.

Beyond allowing Apple to better monetize its apps and keep iOS advertisements out of Google's hands, this move from Apple creates additional incentives to have developers focus on iOS app creation and optimization.