One billion

By Daniel Holz | April 30, 2009 7:33 pm

A few days ago Apple Computer issued a press release which got some media coverage. I don’t usually pay much attention to such things, but two items caught my eye:

– One billion downloads in nine months. This is a really, really big number. For perspective, this is equivalent to every man, woman, and child in the US downloading three iPhone applications. Or one out of every seven people in the entire world downloading an application. It’s one download every time your heart beats for your whole life. It’s one application download for every hundred stars in the galaxy. Or one application every fourteen years, for the entire history of the Universe. This is a lot of downloads. In a market space that didn’t even exist a year ago. All of this has happened in only nine months (an average of more than 40 downloads a second, day and night, nonstop). Here’s a “visual” of one billion, from the wikipedia page:

Visualizing one billion

– The billionth download happened to be the application Bump, something I posted about last month (and, because of April Fool’s, was considered suspect). Small world. Maybe Andy will get to shake Steve Jobs’ hand? That would be almost as exciting as my brother hanging out with Lindsay Lohan.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Entertainment, Gadgets
  • CoffeeCupContrails

    Two very powerful memes… one addictive, the other captivating. both hot… and what WAS your brother doing hanging out with Lohan?

  • Mike

    The Wikipedia visualization of a billion, while clever and good-intentioned, suffers from disregarding a common human bias: the underestimation of volume (even area!).

    I would guess most people would get a clearer impression of 1B if, instead of a sequence of three 10x10x10 cubes, they saw a sequence of nine bars of 10 cubes.

  • The Science Pundit

    Gee, I would have thought that iSnort would be the one billionth download–after all, it’s highly addictive. 😉

  • The Science Pundit

    HTML FAIL! :-(

  • Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor)

    Hey. I just fixed up the busted YouTube link in The Science Pundit’s comment. Game on!

    Also: Daniel, is that really your brother? Can’t tell if you’re just being wry…

  • daniel

    Pundit, iSnort is pretty good. although the truly amazing thing is that it wasn’t one of the many, many fart-noise applications. my suspicion is that it in fact was, and Apple deliberately waited until they had a more ‘suitable’ application for their press release.

    Amos, it is indeed my brother. he is living quite the life out on Maui.


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