March 2011
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Day March 3, 2011

iTunes App Store generated $3 billion in sales

The announcement of $2 billion total for App store payments to developers did not come as a surprise. On January 22nd Apple reached 10 billion total apps downloaded. From that figure and an earlier derivation of the average selling price, I estimated $2 billion was paid out around the same time frame.

We don’t know exactly how many apps have been sold at exactly the moment when $2 billion was paid out so we don’t have the means to update the ASP of apps (currently estimated at 29c).

We do know for certain however that the app store generated $2.86 billion in sales if $2 billion was paid out.

The new data affirms existing estimates.

Android vs. Windows Phone: Which vendors benefit?

Who is Winning the U.S. Smartphone Battle? | Nielsen Wire.

This is a great chart from Nielsen showing the split in manufacturer share by OS in US installed base. What I consider significant is how the modular software platforms Windows Mobile and Android worked out for the licensees.

Whereas in the case of Windows Mobile HTC took a significant, nearly dominant share, the Android ecosystem was more balanced between HTC and Motorola. However, HP and Motorola left the Microsoft camps, Motorola going exclusively for Android and HP buying Palm. That leaves Microsoft with HTC, Samsung and Other (mainly LG I presume).

The question of how Windows Phone will shape up vs. Windows Mobile and Android remains. Motorola has signaled they are not interested in WP7 for the time being and so it’s likely that they will stick with Android. Samsung is always hedging its bets so it will probably balance its portfolio. One could conceive of Nokia stepping into the US with significant WP volumes, but there are many hurdles on the way.

One can see the challenge individual modular vendors have to edge the overall volumes of the integrated vendors. As Nielsen points out:

But an analysis by manufacturer shows RIM and Apple to be the winners compared to other device makers since they are the only ones creating and selling smartphones with their respective operating systems

Not only are the volumes higher, but so are the margins and hence profit share.

Apps are 15 times more popular than ebooks

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

The Passion of Steve Jobs – NYTimes.com

It was almost exactly three years ago that Steve Jobs dismissed the Kindle reader as a futile attempt to change user behavior.

Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced that the iBooks store served 100 million ebooks in its first 11 months of operations.

So do we have another example of Steve’s classic misdirection where he dismisses a category only to enter and dominate it at some later time?

Let’s look at the data. The chart below shows the sales ramp of three media types served by Apple: songs, apps and books.