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In the month since Apple opened its iPhone App Store available to independent developers – users have downloaded more than 60million programs, CEO Steve Jobs says. While most are free, Apple sold paid apps at an average of $1 million a day for about $30 million over the month, he said.

In the month since Apple opened its iPhone App Store available to independent developers – users have downloaded more than 60million programs, CEO Steve Jobs says. While most are free, Apple sold paid apps at an average of $1 million a day for about $30 million over the month, he said.

If sales hold this pace, Apple stands to reap at least $360 million a year in new revenue. “This thing’s going to crest a half a billion, soon,” Jobs
told The Wall Street Journal. “Who knows, maybe it will become a $1 billion marketplace.”

Jobs is betting that applications will sell more iPhones and wireless-enabled iPod touch devices, enhancing the appeal of the products ­
just as iTunes music has boosted iPod sales. “The phone of the future will be differentiated by software,” Jobs said.

That would presumably include handsets embracing Google’s Android platform, meant to be an open-source platform for phone applications. However Android has been hit by delays and won’t be seen before mid-2009.

Apple has had some problems, too. It has enraged some fans by removing programs from the App Store without explanation and iPhone users also have complained of technical problems with various iPhone apps.

Apple isn’t likely to derive much in the way of direct profit from the store, Jobs acknowledges. Most apps are free and many more are under $10.

Apple keeps 30 percent of the fees, to cover costs. Developers so far have reaped about $21 million, with the top 10 earning roughly $9 million over
the month.

Videogame specialist Sega says it’s sold more than 300,000 $9.99 Super Monkeyball games, in which players guide an orb around mazes by tilting
their iPhones.

Epocrates, a vendor of electronic reference guides for physicians, has developed a free drug encyclopedia for the iPhone. More than 125,000 have
downloaded the software, including 25,000 doctors. Sybase, Oracle and Salesforce.com are among the business operators who have contributed free apps.

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