Apple, Inc. Opens App Store via Update to iTunes

The App Store is a service for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad created by Apple Inc.

which allows users to browse and download applications from the iTunes Store that were developed with the iPhone SDK and published through Apple. Depending on the application, they are available either for free, or at a cost. The applications can be downloaded directly to target device, or downloaded onto a computer via iTunes. While Apple has stated that they do not expect to profit from the store, it has been predicted by Piper Jaffray that the App Store could create a profitable marketplace with revenue exceeding US$1 billion annually for the company. Apple allows 70% of revenues from the store to instantly go to the seller of the app, and 30% go to Apple. The App Store opened on July 10, 2008 via an update to iTunes. On July 11, the iPhone 3G was launched and came pre-loaded with iPhone OS 2.0 with App Store support; new iPhone OS 2.0 firmware for iPhone and iPod Touch was also made available via iTunes. As of January 15, 2010, there are at least 133,979 third-party applications officially available on the App Store, with over 3 billion total downloads.

After the success of Apple's App Store, and the launch of similar services by its competitors, the term "app store" has been used to refer to any similar service for mobile devices. However, Apple claims "App Store" as a trademark.

The App Store is accessible from the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad via an iPhone OS application by the same name.

Apple had promised to unveil the new App Store section of iTunes—where, for the first time, iPhone and iPod Touch owners will be able to get third-party applications for their devices—on July 11, the same day that the new iPhone 3G goes on sale. But in a typical bit of Apple surprise marketing, the App Store is available today as part of iTunes 7.7, which you can download here. (After upgrading, you might need to click here to get to the App Store within iTunes.)