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Apple's Newest Store Sells $30 Million

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Even if you don't believe that AT&T (NYSE: T  ) is killing the iPhone -- and many of you, including Foolish colleague Seth Jayson, don't -- there's no denying the importance of the iTunes App Store. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) CEO Steve Jobs recently told The Wall Street Journal that the store, which hosts dozens of free and for-sale iPhone software, booked $30 million in revenue in its first 30 days.

Investors should be salivating. As a phone, the iPhone isn't all that different than its peers. Yes, it has a touch screen, but so do models from Taiwan's High Tech Computer. Yes, visual voice mail is stylish. But a phone is a phone, folks.

The iPhone is supposed to be more. It's supposed to be a platform, as famed venture capitalist John Doerr dubbed it when creating the $100 million iFund for Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers. The App Store makes his platform argument real.

Well, that and similar investments by Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) . IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) , too. Last week, the company announced Mobility@Work, a corporate initiative that will tap Big Blue's software and services expertise to transform phones into computing platforms. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) , meanwhile, has Android.

It seems that suddenly, the entire tech world sees smartphones as platforms. But so far, only Apple has the lion's share of developers. So far, their work has produced $30 million in revenue. Well done, sirs.

Keep them happy, Apple. The App Store has the potential to create a rich, iPhone-selling array of services. Neither draconian contracts nor technical issues -- too much of which we've already seen -- should be allowed to stunt its development.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers had positions in Nokia, IBM, and Google -- and Google's 2010 LEAPs -- at the time of publication. When not typing up articles for,  you'll find him picking growth stocks for Rule Breakers, which counts Google among its holdings. Get access to all of his writings here, or enjoy a daily dose of his Foolishness via this feed for your RSS reader. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy tries to keep its software shopping to a minimum.

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  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2008, at 4:01 PM, victoriawayne wrote:

    I agree, the app store is great, and I think it is the "x" factor of whether or not this phone will really have legs. Although one thing to note is, they may have had $30 million in sales fromt he app store, but 70% of that goes back to the developers of the apps. So Apple is still making money from it, but it's not as huge a money maker as you might think...well not yet anyways. There will be some killer app that everyone has to have...inducing more sales, like a Facebook type of epidemic. Everyone will want to be a part of it. Many phones can call, text, surf the web, calendar, email, but it's the unique apps that will help make this phone stand out.

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