NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- The number of iPhone and iPad apps downloaded from Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report App store is continuously inching upward to reach the 10 billion milestone, which is expected to happen anytime soon.

Since its launch in 2008, the app store has seen magnificent growth. The number of apps has increased from 500 to more than 350,000 presently, while the number of app download has crossed 9 billion. This stellar growth can be attributed to increasing sales of iPhone and iPad and competitive pricing of games, e-books and other apps. Apple competes with phone makers like

Research in Motion

(RIMM)

,

Motorola

(MOT)

,

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

and

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

.

We expect the number of iPhone, iPad and iPod apps downloaded to rise to 62 billion by the end of our forecast period vs. Trefis community predictions of 73 billion. Although the community projections are higher than our estimates by 10 billion, they have almost no impact on Apple's stock price as apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod constitute only around 2% of our price estimate for Apple's stock.

We currently have a Trefis price estimate of $418 for Apple's stock, about 27% above the current market price of $329.

Since its launch in July 2007, the iPhone is seeing strong sales growth. The number of iPhones sold has increased from 3.4 million in 2007 to more than 25 million in 2009, and is expected to reach 67 million in 2011. For every additional sale of an iPhone, the number of iPhone apps downloaded increases multi-fold.

We note that the highest growth in apps downloaded was in 2010 which saw the launch of the iPad. According to Horace Dediu of

Asymco

, an industry analysis advisory firm, the average iPhone and iPad device user has downloaded more than 60 applications, and the rate is increasing faster.

The report further indicates that the total number of apps downloaded may surpass the total number of songs downloaded by the end of the first quarter.

Wide Choice of Free and Paid Apps

iPhone Apps have become a popular source of owning games and tools at a low price. For example, users can download popular games like Tiger Woods for as low as $10 and applications like Skype for free. Apple recently revealed some of its most popular apps. Doodle Jump is the most popular paid iPhone app of all time. The game is followed up by Tap Tap Revenge 3 and Pocket God. For the iPad, The top paid iPad progam of all time is music-discovery app, SoundHound.This is followed by StickWars, FlightTrack, Backbreaker Football, and Calorie Tracker.

In free apps, Facebook, Pandora, Google's mobile app, movies by Flixter and Google Earth are the most popular ones for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Trefis Community Forecast

The Trefis community projects the number of iPhone & iPad apps downloaded will increase from 16.3 billion in 2011 to 73.2 billion by 2017, compared to the baseline Trefis estimate of an increase from 13.2 billion to 62.3 billion during the same period. The member estimates have no impact on Trefis price estimate for Apple's stock, since apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod constitutes only around 2% of

Apple's stock price

.

Our

complete analysis for Apple's stock is here.

Trefis members constitute more than tens of thousands of users of the Trefis platform, inclusive of investors, financial analysts, and business professionals who use the Trefis platform to create their own models and price estimates.

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