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iPhone Apple-cations Boost Bottom Line


Programs add value for company; users, not so much.

Due to the staggering success of its ubiquitous iPhone, Apple's (AAPL) own App Store sold over 60 million applications for the mobile gadget, netting the company about $30 million -- or $1 million per day -- since the iPhone 2.0's launch last month.

However, they have yet to release an exact figure for sales of surface cleaner, which are sure to be booming as users constantly wipe down their sweat-smudged screens.

The company stands to gain $360 million per year in new revenue if users continue to buy add-ons at this pace. CEO Steve Jobs claims he's "never seen anything like this in [his] career for software."

Hardware's a different story, though: 10 fully-loaded MacBooks will set you back about $360 million.

Topping the list of the most popular paid apps is the Koi Pond (a program that turns your screen into a Japanese fish pond) and Ambience, a virtual sound machine that blocks outside noise - 2 fantastic add-ons that allow you to ignore everyone else while still having the privacy-destroying power of a cell phone.

Old standby games like Solitaire and Hangman remain popular on the free application side. Also on the list is Showtimes, a program which uses the iPhone's GPS locator to retrieve nearby movie-theater showtimes.

Unfortunately, the information is only available as text: Users still have to call 777-FILM if they want to hear the mellifluous voice of Moviefone Guy.

Though the iPhone App Store has proven to be a major moneymaker for Apple, both users and software developers have a few bones to pick with the current system. Any mention of copyrights, trademarks or intellectual property without explicit consent is strictly forbidden, as is the use of any software that accesses your music directory.

Sadly, The "Mickey Mouse Sings Dark Side of the Moon" application was hit hardest by these guidelines.

This past week, however, Apple removed a program that both followed software guidelines and was even approved by the company: The "I Am Rich" application -- selling for $999.99, the highest price of any iPhone program -- was quietly taken down, presumably to avoid the lawsuits likely to follow any accidental purchase. The app simply placed a red jewel on your screen that served no function other than to prove to others that you have lots of disposable income.

The software was removed before Tiffany (TIF) had a chance to file an injunction, having already cornered the market in unnecessary and ostentatious jewelry.
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