Two Thousand iPhone Apps Coming?

Apple states that over 100,000 downloads of the iSDK have taken place.

This causes me to bring up the Two-Per Cent Response Rate Rule of direct mail campaigns, which I previously mentioned in regard to Trent Reznor.

To repeat:

When there were no home computers and things were done via mail order, I read up on direct marketing (what we usually called back then junk mail). A phenomenal response rate was considered 3%. That’s right: three percent! For a very successful campaign.

Find that hard to believe?


What are the average response rates to direct mail campaigns quoted as at the moment?

Is there anything specific to the test and measurement industry?


My industry is Office Products, and 99% of our bsuiness comes from direct mail marketing.

We see a 1% response rate when mailing to Prospects or inactive customers.

It’s closer to 2% when we mail a ‘special offer’ to existing customers. (like a big sale on a specific products line).

In that same thread, here’s someone who got the same Old School education I had:

I’ve been told that a good rule-of-thumb is that 2-3% response rate signifies a successful campaign.

Emphasis added by me.

So, if the Two-Per Cent Response Rate Rule is applied to the iSDK number of downloads, it could mean Apple will be flooded with two thousand applications right from the start.

And that’s if the two per cent create only one program each.

How many applications can Apple approve per day?

Even if it manages ten per day, it’d take two hundred days to clear the backlog.

Since this doesn’t include more coming in every day, the task clearly becomes Sisyphean in scope.


Let’s say Apple has a Top Secret method of dispatching a hundred programs per day. That’s still a twenty-day lag to clear just the introductory two thousand.

I’m not even going to try to break down the possible two thousand into categories of applications. How many will be productivity, how many fun, how many business niche. Nor will I even attempt to parse paid from free.

All of this makes me wonder if we’ll see iDevs having to set up websites to pre-market their programs while awaiting Apple’s approval and appearance on the App Store.

Many of us might find ourselves signing up on mailing lists waiting to be told when we can buy something.

It also makes me wonder how Apple is going to handle announcing new App Store offerings. I don’t do RSS, so will Apple itself offer a mailing list so I can get updates? Or will I be stuck having to keep iTunes open everyday? (Update: No, I will have to get an iPhone or iPod Touch, so I can keep abreast of what’s added to the App Store directly that way. It makes it hell for people without the hardware, though.) (See new Update.)


This is really uncharted territory, I think. When the Palm Pilot appeared, the Net was still young and it was easy to keep up on new programs. Until the flood began.

This time, we might start with a flood.

Explore posts in the same categories: Tech - Apple

8 Comments on “Two Thousand iPhone Apps Coming?”

  1. Constable Odo Says:

    How many apps would a person need on an iPhone at one time? Maybe a couple of dozen? Not counting games, but really useful apps. On the Apple site now there couldn’t be more than 700 or so and even if there were twice that many would it make much of a difference. There are probably going to be lots of similar overlapping programs. The application I’m most curious about is the “killer app”. What will be the most important application to most iPhone users in general. Maybe some social networking app.

  2. mikecane Says:

    I think one of the most popular apps will be word processing. That’s if Apple releases a portable BT keyboard or allows the BT stack to be accessed so a 3rd-party can offer one.

    Another popular app will be for mobile blogging.

    Another will be basic photo editing to get those iPhone cam pics onto a blog.

    There are lot of opportunities for social networking too.

  3. Dave Says:

    Open your eyes grasshopper… there will be so many focused apps that you won’t be able to count them all. Just look at podscasts to see the variety of stuff people have to hear. For example, a bird watcher may want an app that stores birds he is still seeking on his iphone. Obviously you don’t want pics of every bird on the planet to fill up your limited memory.

  4. mikecane Says:

    I gave on podcasts a long time ago. No time.

    A birdwatching app is something I never would have even imagined because I’ve never seen one. (Perhaps WinMob has such an app, but I ignore WinMob as much as possible.)

  5. KenC Says:

    The killer app is the AppStore. Buying software for your cell over wifi or EDGE while moving is the killer app.

    Also, I imagine quite a few more SDKs were gotten over torrents, as the Apple servers were hammered.

  6. […] Mike Cane raises a number of good questions about the impending rollout of iPhone/iTouch apps. […]

  7. ramin Says:

    Here’s a good way to stem the flood of apps:

    Tell the developers to go pound sand.

  8. […] one thing to look forward too. Once the SDK released, there will be hundreds — if not well over a thousand — apps in the App Catalog by the end of this year. Developing for the Pre should happen with […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: