Google Translate – the most successful iOS app launch to date?

Could Google Translate be the most successful iOS app launch to date? We’ve watched its meteoric rise since its release this Wednesday to the #1 spot for UK top free apps on the d4 apps website / d4 apps mobile edition.

Ok, so Google Translate isn’t a totally new app – it was released for the Android platform back in January 2010, and there was a web app for the iPhone as early as August 2008. But what’s truly staggering is the truly international reach of Google’s services and the distribution power the company enjoys.  Within three days of launch, the native iOS Google Translate app is top of the Apple app charts for free downloads across all categories in over 80 countries.

Putting this success into perspective

Last month the Apple’s App Store passed the 10 billion apps downloaded mark.   To celebrate the occasion, Apple disclosed the most popular apps via this special iTunes page.  According to this page, the top 10 free apps of all time for the UK are as follows:

  1. Facebook
  2. eBay mobile
  3. Google Mobile App
  4. Shazam
  5. Skype
  6. Google Earth
  7. Bump
  8. Movies by Flixster – with Rotten Tomatoes
  9. Paper Toss
  10. AroundMe

The Facebook app never achieved more that 22 number 1 positions across the various country specific app stores.  Ditto Skype.  The Google mobile app managed 43 following its release in April 2009.

Two caveats immediately spring to mind – the algorithm used by Apple to determine an app’s popularity might have changed, and the number of country rankings available has likely increased over time as the App Store becomes more global.

But we predict that Google will continue to set the benchmark for successful app launches.

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