Zeroing in on the Billionth App Sold by Apple on iTMS

On Apple.com there is a small animation estimating the number of apps sold in the iTunes App Store since it first opened last year. The counter is closing in on 1 Billion. That’s a 1,000 million for our longitudinally-challenged friends on the other side of the Atlantic. This small counter is a small JavaScript animation. One of the features of JavaScript is that its source is all in the browser where anyone can see it. If you look at the code, Apple has given you the clues necessary to estimate when the billionth app will be sold.

Data: http://www.apple.com/autopush/us/itunes/includes/countdown.txt
JavaScript: http://images.apple.com/global/scripts/downloadcounter.js

There is a text file. The text file is obviously coming out of the iTunes store. It contains the hourly timestamp, the count of the number of apps sold and the current sales rate.

15-APR-2009 21:00:00|960384867|260839

Based on this information, we are just 39,615,133 apps shy of the billionth app and 260,839 apps are bought in a certain period of time. What is that period of time. If you look at the JavaScript code, you can see they are dividing that number up in to 3,600,000. I take this calculation to be in milliseconds. By extrapolation that means that 72 apps are bough every second. That would seem to jive with the animation.

The burn rate is not constant. If the burn rate were to remain constant then we would be just 546,752 seconds away from the billionth app. The make the event scheduled for just lest than a week from now (6 days, 7 hours, 52 minutes).

Wednesday 4/22, 7:52 am Central Time

The data file is refreshed every hour so this estimate is also subject to revision every hour. With only nine hours of data the target time floated from 4/22 to 5/1 and now has begun to drift back. This sine wave is caused by the daily traffic pattern of the Apple Store. If I continue to monitor the store for another day or two I should be able to average in on the target. The average target is now 4/26/09 2:12 PM4/26/09 11:26 AM4/26/09 9:04 AM4/24/09 12:15 PM4/24/09 5:28 PM4/23/09 10:22 PM4/23/09 3:11 PM4/23/09 3:16 PM

Here’s my Source Data on Google Docs: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pydmD4NiOSHYPmIfdh1j4Dw

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