Apple chief says iPhone software sales take off: report

Diane Sot displays her new Apple iPhone 3G at an Apple Store in Boston, Massachusetts July 11, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) - In the month since Apple Inc AAPL.O opened the App Store, an online software clearinghouse, users have downloaded more than 60 million programs for the iPhone, Chief Executive Steve Jobs told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Apple sold an average of $1 million a day in applications for a total of about $30 million in sales over the month, Jobs told the paper.

If sales stay at the current pace, Apple stands to earn at least $360 million a year in new revenue from the App Store, Jobs said.

“This thing’s going to crest a half a billion, soon,” Jobs told the journal adding that it may be a “$1 billion marketplace at some point in time.”

Jobs told the paper that Apple is keeping only 30 percent of the proceeds from application sales while the programs’ creators keep 70 percent.

However, Jobs believes that applications will sell more iPhones and wireless-enabled iPod touch devices, enhancing the appeal of the products in the same way.

Jobs confirmed that iPhones routinely check an Apple Web site that could, in theory, trigger the removal of the undesirable software from the devices.

He told the paper that Apple needed the capability in case it inadvertently allowed a malicious program to be distributed to iPhones through the App Store.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore)