In a press release, Apple chief Steve Jobs blew a sizeable raspberry at rivals, saying: "The App Store is like nothing the industry has ever seen before, in both scale and quality. With 1.5bn apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up."
The rate at which customers are buying apps seems to be increasing. In April, Apple announced 1bn apps had been downloaded from its store, just nine months after it opened. Three months later, another 500m apps have been purchased. Apple says there are 65,000 apps available in the store, and 40 million iPhones and iPod touch devices have been sold thus far, with iPhone 3GS owners probably bumping up those download numbers in the last month.
Apple's success with attracting developers to make all those apps is certainly inspiring imitators. Phone makers Nokia, RIM and Palm have similar platforms for selling apps for their devices, and there are also repositories for apps that work on the Windows Mobile and Android platforms only. But the App Store is still the most viable way for mobile developers to get their applications in front of customers.