∞ App Store seen as reason for the success of iPhone

With over 65,000 apps available, and 1.5 billion downloaded in its first year, Apple’s App Store is being touted as one of the main reasons for the success of the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G. App StorePiper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster said in a research note that with big companies like Sirius and ESPN coming to the iPhone and promoting their apps, Apple is getting more exposure than it otherwise would.

The effect on Apple has been twofold according to Munster. First, it has boosted sales of the new iPhone 3G, but it is also making the less expensive iPhone 3G popular among price conscious shoppers.

“The smart phone industry has effectively crowned the iPhone and its App Store the gold standard among touchscreen mobile experiences, and competitors are trying to copy the device and its software,” said Munster.

As its competitors advertise their own touchscreen products, they are making the iPhone even more popular, according to Munster. He said the effect is similar to when iPod competitors copied it and tried to promote their products as being superior.