Apple, which sold its 1 billionth App Store application on April 23rd, says a third of the 35,000 applications on the digital download store are games, meaning it sold over 300 million multi-touch games in approximately 9 months.
Sales of Apple’s iPod touch have more than doubled over the past 12 months to rates nearly in line with the iPhone, fueled by an explosion of attractive gaming titles on the App Store that are boosting overall multi-touch device shipments into Nintendo DS territory. The appeal of the iPod touch as a gaming device has admittedly caught industry watchers by surprise.
Though its unclear how many DS titles have been sold since the platform launched in 2004, Nintendo did say last month that 83 titles had each surpassed the 1 million mark, with 7 games exceeding the 10 million mark.
Even if the iPod Touch is still far from being a real competitor to the Nintendo DS as a portable gaming device, its surely is not to be considered a “second choice” or a “wish I could afford an iPhone”-kind of device. There are millions of users out there that have chosen this device to sit next to their mobile phone, so fully testing and supporting both iPhone and the iPod Touch first and second generations is Surgeworks “default” target as iPhone SDK developers.
According to AppleInsider, Apple is as focused as ever on producing a portable device that sits in between the small, pocketable designs of the iPhone and iPod touch but not as large as existing MacBooks. Recent reports have seen Apple order 10-inch touchscreens for an unknown product due later this year; it’s commonly believed to either be Apple’s long-in-development tablet-class device or else the company’s closest equivalent to a netbook.
It may very well run a stripped down version of Mac OS X or an extended version of the iPhone OS 3.0. My take is it will run all iPhone OS native apps that are available today on the App Store, including Surgeworks’ developed iPhone Apps, while allowing to run more complex Mac OS X apps in a multi-tasking environment.
It is the best time to start development of your Native App idea: you’ll get iPhone OS 3.0 support, iPod Touch compatibility and all the buzz form the new iPhone models expected for June, as well as a tremendous suspense while we wait for more details on the new mystery device.