And that big number is 250,000; as in 250,000 different apps now available for the iPhone and/or iPad.
That's an impressive number. However, even more impressive to me is all the VC money and angel investors that it must have taken over the past two years and not quite two months to make all of this happen.
Check this out: according to CB Insights, such investments in what is called "pure play" startups (businesses who only develop applications for Apple products) have gone up 220% just this year from last.
Here are some interesting nuggets about all these apps being funded and launched:
1. 70% of Apple's apps cost something, leaving only 30% free of charge. Android's app store is just the opposite with roughly two thirds of its apps available for free and one third paid.
2. There are 250,000 active apps available through Apple. There are just under 50,000 inactive apps listed as well. Another way to think of this; one in six apps fail, for sure.
3. The top three most prolific categories of apps are books, games and entertainment. (Color me, Sherlock Holmes, but I see this as affirmation the iPhone and iPad - so far - are primarily consumer toys and less business tools). Perhaps, there is room in the inn for Windows Phone 7, after all.
4. Books (17%), games (14%), entertainment (11%), lifestyle (6%), music (4%) and sports (3%) make up 55% of all apps available.
5. Social networking makes up 1%.
6. Business makes up 2%.
7. News makes up 2% (if this is the savior of journalism, yipes!).
8. Education is the fourth largest category at 7%. Expect that to climb, I think.
The categories of apps are very diverse and fragmented as the above list would indicate. It will be interesting to look at these same categories a year from now when the iPad has more time to get out there. This is why I am betting on education apps to mushroom.