Apple's iPad hit a big benchmark this week, surpassing 100,000 applications made specifically for it.
To put that in perspective, the platform has been out for 453 days, with developers getting access to its software development kit in January 2010, on the day the product was first announced.
The iPad hit stores that April with the promise of supporting "almost all" of the 150,000 plus apps on the company's App Store. Since then, developers have created a healthy supply of apps that have been tailored to the larger screen real estate.
In terms of ramp up to the 100,000 number, developers have been on a relative tear. Around this time last year there were 11,000 iPad native apps, up from the 5,000 about a month after the product was out. In March of this year, while introducing the iPad 2, Apple announced that it was up to 65,000 applications. And just a few weeks ago at WWDC the company said it was slightly above 90,000.
Total app volume continues to be a selling point by companies with mobile devices connected to application markets. Apple and Google use it as a benchmark of sorts for showing how popular their product is among the developers who are building applications for it. Hewlett-Packard, which will take Apple's iPad head-on with its TouchPad product when it goes on sale tomorrow, will have between 300 and 400 native applications. Google's catalog of Honeycomb-optimized apps is said to be in the "low hundreds."
One very important thing to point out about these numbers is that they do not account for overlap in times where developers may build the same app for multiple platforms. While it's easy to toss around volume, at the end of the day it's all about whether the software you want is on that platform.
Update at 6:50 p.m. PT on 7/1: John Gruber at Daring Fireball pointed out something we should have done a better job pointing out earlier, that Mac news site Macstories had its own post before we did on the 100,000 iPad application count. We initially had linked out to a PC World story which noted this interesting data point three days earlier, but we're happy to give credit where credit is due to Macstories.