Three billion downloads, 10.1 million downloads a day, from a catalog of 100,000 applications. That’s a lot of bandwidth for a service that rival Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed would flop. Three billion downloads in just over 18 months is a little hard to comprehend, but speaks volumes about what the real strength behind the iPhone’s success has been.

Steve Jobs himself has said that the App Store is currently “unlike anything else available on other mobile devices.”  When journalists prompt him about the competition he lets us know that there are currently “no signs of the competition catching up soon.” With other mobile device creators trying to replicate Apple’s success with their own devices, knocking the 100,000 pound monkey off Apple’s back is probably going to take a lot of time and even more work.  Until that happens Apple’s sitting at the top of the hill, all alone.

Would the device be as successful as it has been to date if  developers hadn’t turned out so many excellent applications? Probably not. There’s a lot to be said about the competitions devices, and in some cases a couple phones are far more superior than the iPhone. But, without a fledging AppStore behind the competition, there’s not much competition in the SmartPhone market.

Hopefully it changes and we see more competition, but right now it’s hard to compete with 3 Billion downloads.