How the Apple App Store revolutionized consumer access and ownership

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is in full swing. After yesterday, execs have announced functional updates to watchOS and new coordination, search and streaming capabilities already polarizing the music community.

One of the most monumental announcements came not in the form of features but rather, a frequency of use update. According to Apple’s CEO, the App Store as surpassed 100 billion downloads.

One billion and counting

Beyond the monumental statistic, the most striking part of Tim Cook’s message was his evaluation of what this means. To Cook, the App Store has fundamentally transformed collective access to consumer goods and services.

It’s true. To take one example, consumers don’t NEED to own music. They can stream it using Spotify — and now Apple Music. People don’t need cars, necessarily. They can call one up using Uber or Lyft as they wait in the warmth of their living rooms.

All this is made possible through apps — which have found a means of widespread distribution and use through the Apple App (and Google Play) Stores. There’s no denying, apps have fundamentally shifted how businesses communicate services and address consumer needs.

The man (and woman) power behind it all

All this couldn’t be done without the army of developers contributing to App Store offerings. According to Cook, Apple has paid over $30 billion to developers since the App Store launched. The hub of useful technology gave developers a voice. Finally they could code and release technology to bridge the functional gaps they observed to elevate the lives of users.

With the release of one app, Cook said, millions can benefit from an idea. It represents a true democratization of technology. Anyone with an iOS smartphone can access the rich services, capabilities and features apps offer.

The App Store will continue to empower developers to create personalized experiences with mass appeal allowing users the chance to live more connected lives, yet untethered by the need to “own” things. Rather, use can occur as-needed.

Cook remains curious to see how the next generation of storytellers leverages the video apps and host of editing capabilities housed in the App Store.

Last take-aways from Cook’s announcement include:

1. The App store is the most profitable app marketplace.

2. iPhone launched without the App Store, and it has since changed software distribution forever.

3. 850 apps are downloaded every second.

Photo courtesy of Max Griboedov.