App Store celebrates 5th Anniversary

The App Store has just celebrated its fifth anniversary. Can you believe it? In some ways, downloading apps has become so commonplace it’s hard to think back to the days before Angry Birds and FourSquare. Yet at the same time, it doesn’t feel like it should be that old.

The App Store was launched on July 10, 2008 and proffered a mere 500 apps. A few of the most notable initial offerings were eBay, Travelocity, Facebook, Yelp, Shazam, Super Monkey Ball and

Five years later, there are probably Mac users who have that many apps on their iPhone 5s! The App Store was immediately popular, with 10 million apps downloaded in just four days. By April 4, 2009, 1 billion had been downloaded and by June 7, 2010, a whopping 5 billion downloads had been completed through the App Store. As on May 16, 2013 there had been more than 50 billion downloads!

Today, there are more than 900,000 apps available; a far cry from those 500 we started off with. With nearly 1 million apps on the market, there’s something for nearly anything you can think of. There are apps to monitor your sleeping patterns, apps that let you simulate making toast, there is even an app that claims it can help you determine whether a watermelon is ripe or not.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the App Store, Apple has created a special page in the iTunes Store highlighting popular apps and milestones. It’s also offering a selection of popular paid apps for free for the week. They’re good ones, too! For those who want to take advantage of the offer, the gaming apps are Badland, Infinity Blade 2, Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery, Tiny Wings and Where’s My Water? The other apps are Traktor DJ, Over (a photography app), How to Cook Everything, Day One (a journaling app) and Barefoot World Atlas.

It’s incredible to think how quickly technology has developed since Apple released the original iPhone in 2007. In just five short years we’ve gone from the revolutionary first iPhone, which had Safari, html email, YouTube and threaded text messaging to more choices of stunning and useful apps than we can possibly imagine.

In that short period time we’ve upgraded through several versions of the iPhone and also witnessed the initial creation and several generations of the iPad, the iPad Mini and the iPhone 5 with retina display. Accordingly, as mobile technology has developed, apps have too. Today there are versions of apps created specifically for iPads and new Apple devices with retina display.

With rumors swirling about the impending release of an innovative new iPhone and the possibility of Apple “phablets,” what might we see developers release in the App Store between now and 2018? Considering just how quickly mobile technology has developed in the last five years, it’s anyone’s guess. But regardless of what currently unfathomable device Apple releases in the next few years, there is one thing we can be guaranteed of. There (will be) an app for that!

Apple I auction fails to break 500K

Anyone who has bought an Apple computer knows they aren’t exactly budget-priced. While they’re an excellent product for quality and reliability, they do tend to run higher in price than other computers. But Apple has a following – consumers who are loyal to the brand and see it as a pop culture icon and way of life, not just a computer company.

A prime example of the popularity of everything Apple, and a reminder of where it all started from, is the original Apple I computer. Originally sold for $666.66, it was the first pre-made computer to come with 8K of RAM (524,000 times less memory than what you’d get today) and without a monitor or other components.

There were approximately 200 made by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak which were sold out of Jobs’ garage and would become the frontrunner to today’s iMac, MacBook, iPad and iPhone. To date, only 30 to 50 are known to still exist, and those who want them are willing to pay for the privilege of owning such an iconic machine.

In 2010 it was reported that one was due to sell at Christie’s auction house in London for approximately $200,000. The then-35 year old computer came with the actual unit, box, manuals and a letter from Steve Jobs himself.

In 2012, Sotheby’s auction house had another on offer and at that time was expecting to start bids for it at approximately $140,000 to $180,000. With it came the motherboard, cassette and original BASIC manual.

Then, in May of this year, one sold in Germany for $671,400 and in America, Christie’s auction house is currently accepting bids on another along with other various Apple antiquities in an exclusive online auction.

The most recent Apple I was acquired in 1976 by a Californian school psychologist. He exchanged other computer parts for the Apple I and used it to program interactive lessons for special needs school children. The prized computer was signed by Steve Wozniak and bears the serial number 01-0025, making it one of the first 25 ever created. However, it’s spent the last few years in storage and its owner has decided it’s time to pass it on.

Bids for the rare machine started at $300,000 and was expected to bring in around $500,000. However, by the time the auction had closed on July 9th it had only reached $387,750 falling short of its mark. Other Apple treasures up for grabs in the auction include floppy discs containing one of Apple’s first spreadsheet programs and a prototype portable computer reportedly several times thicker than the current generation of MacBooks.

These gems of Apple history remind us of just how far technology has progressed in the last 30 years. And original machines like the Apple I have become especially sought-after since the death of the company’s iconic CEO, Steve Jobs, in 2011. For those who love Mac and can afford to shell out the money, the chance to collect such a rare artifact is a thrill too good to pass up.