From The Useless Statistics Department - Palm Pre App Downloads - InformationWeek

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6/25/2009
09:25 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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From The Useless Statistics Department - Palm Pre App Downloads

Now that the Apple App Store hit one billion downloads of third party applications after just nine months, other app stores will follow suit with their own app download progress. The application store for the Palm Pre has had one million downloads in less than three weeks. Or has it?

Now that the Apple App Store hit one billion downloads of third party applications after just nine months, other app stores will follow suit with their own app download progress. The application store for the Palm Pre has had one million downloads in less than three weeks. Or has it?Yesterday we found out that 150,000 Pres have been sold. (No matter how many times I see it, "Pres" does not look right for the plural of that name.) Later yesterday afternoon, the New York Times Bits Blog reported that one million apps have been downloaded according to an analytics and advertising company called Medialets.

First of all, we don't know if 150,000 devices have been sold. That was an estimate. I am not sure what the error bars are on that estimate, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was 10,000-20,000 units off either way.

Secondly, there are only about 30 apps in Palm's Pre app store. There are some very good ones, like Evernote, which should have broad appeal, but there are others that will have more limited appeal, like Fandango (I refuse to pay $1 per movie ticket for the privilege of buying a ticket online) or FlightView, which would appeal mostly to travelers or pickup services.

To arrive at the million download mark, Medialets assumed that the 150,000 figure was accurate and concluded that, on average, every Pre owner was downloading seven applications. But in reality, neither figure may be correct, or even close.

I say we wait until Palm releases some actual data on both sales of the Pre and downloads from their application store. Such a release may validate these estimates or show them to be way off, because right now, we don't know how many devices have sold, how many apps each user is downloading or how much in total have been downloaded. But, it makes for good press releases.

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