Following September’s iOS 11 launch and first consumer availability of ARkit apps, downloads for AR apps reached 100,000 in October. This is according to App Annie (data below), and generally aligns with ARtillry Intelligence data on consumer mobile AR growth.

This total will continue to grow in the coming months, having lots of headroom when you consider the 505 million iPhones that are currently compatible with ARkit. That installed base will also grow as older non-AR compatible iPhones (pre-iPhone 6s) are cycled out.

That installed base provides the capacity for downloads to grow, though the latter is a separate data point. Other growth drivers for ARkit app downloads include more consumer acclimation and demand for AR, and more compelling content/app libraries.

As we examined recently, there will be lots of misfires and “add-on” functionality for AR apps in early days, just as we saw with iPhone apps in early days. It took a little while for truly valuable and native apps to arrive, but we believe the same trend will play out with ARkit apps.

When that first breakout ARkit app arrives — perhaps the Shazam of ARkit, to use a historical parallel — mobile AR will be truly exposed and demand will begin to really scale. Eventually there will be true utilities, likely in retail or local discovery, and an Uber-like success story.

Of course we don’t know what that is yet, but that’s the fun part. It’s circa 2008, all over again. We’ll watch closely to examine mobile AR dynamics unfold.

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Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.

Header image credit: IKEA