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Monday, January 17, 2011, 05:10 am PT (08:10 am ET)

Apple's App Store on pace to surpass total iTunes music sales by March

The average iOS device has seen more than 60 applications from the App Store downloaded on to it, putting Apple's digital download destination for the iPhone and iPad on pace to eclipse the iTunes Music Store this March.

Horace Dediu of Asymco this week published a detailed look at the growth metrics of Apple's App Store, and compared them with the iTunes Music Store. The analysis came after Apple began its countdown to 10 billion App Store downloads, a milestone that will likely be achieved this month.

The App Store will reach the 10 billion mark, not including software updates, in less than half the time it took the iTunes Music Store to reach that total. Apple's music store reached the 10 billion total in February 2010, or 67 months after it launched.

But the App Store will reach 10 billion in just 31 months since it launched in July 2008. The popularity of the App Store has grown exponentially, as just a year ago Apple revealed that App Store downloads had topped 3 billion.

Now, Deidu found, application downloads for iOS devices are higher than 30 million per day, and growing at an increasing rate. In addition, per-device downloads are also at an all-time high, with the average iOS device having downloaded more than 60 applications.

App Store


In his analysis, he drew the conclusion that the more applications users download for their iOS device, the higher the cost of switching to another platform will become. He also said that downloads for mobile applications are increasing at such a rate that they are poised overtake the PC software market.