According to today's Wall Street Journal, in the month since the Apple App Store opened, users have downloaded over 60 million programs for their iPhone or iPod Touch. Out of those that were downloaded, Apple sold an average of $1 million per day in paid applications, which brought in around $30 million over the course of the month.
If they stay the course, the App Store will make at least $360 million a year, but Steve Jobs isn't setting for that:
"This thing's going to crest a half a billion, soon," he told the WSJ reporter. "Who knows, maybe it will be a $1 billion marketplace at some point in time."
However, it's worth noting that Apple won't be raking in those millions just for themselves - they only keep 30% of the proceeds, a good portion of which go to cover the costs of credit card transactions and help keep the App Store up-and-running. It's really the apps' creators who stand to gain, as they keep 70% of the proceeds.
What sort of paid apps are doing well? A quick glance at the App Store reveals that answer: games. Sega can back that up, too. They sold more than 300,000 copies of their Super Monkeyball game ($9.99) in only 20 days. According to Simon Jeffery, president of Sega's U.S. division: "It gives iPhone a justifiable claim to being a viable gaming platform."
But with numbers like these, we would argue that the iPhone goes beyond just being a gaming platform - they're a computing platform now...and a profitable one at that.