McDonald’s vs. Apple vs. Android


Apple recently hit the 15 billion app download milestone with 200 million users after only three years of the App Store’s existence.

McDonald’s signs used to mention the “billions and billions served” until it surpassed 100 billion burgers served, way back in 1994.

With Apple hitting 15 billion apps in three years and McDonald’s (the “Gold Standard”) hit 100 billion in 46 years, Apple’s pace is nine times faster than McDonald’s sales pace. It took almost 26 years to reach 15 billion burgers sold, and about 46 years to hit 100 billion.

That means Apple hit the 15 billion mark about 9x faster than McDonald’s. And based on projections, Apple could hit 100 billion within five and a half years, or about 9x faster than McDonalds.

Now, Google lags Apple today. Its Android Market tallied 4.5 billion downloads in June, or after 33 months of operation.

But based on projections of its accelerating growth, Google could hit 100 billion downloads even sooner than Apple.

The infographic below nicely illustrates this possibility:

McDonalds versus iphone versus android Comparing growth rates of McDonalds burger sales vs. App Store downloads

(download a high-res PDF suitable for printing: hamburgers_vs_apps_v9-manifesto_2ol)

And while these forecasts may seem ambitious, consider:

1) how scalable virtual commerce can be, since the incremental cost of delivering more app downloads is so small to Apple and Google;

2) there will be more than half a billion people worldwide using app-enabled smartphones and tablets by the end of this year;

3) the average iPhone or iPad user has about 50 apps, while the average Android user has 35. That doesn’t include all of the apps users might have downloaded and then removed.