The Shakespeare application for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch passed the 1 million mark for number of downloads this week. The free Shakespeare application, a cooperative project between Readdle and PlayShakespeare.com, was in the first wave of applications just after Apple(R) launched the iTunes App Store in August 2008.
"It's pretty amazing," said Ron Severdia of PlayShakespeare.com. "We didn't think it would be this popular, so I'm excited to see Shakespeare fans all over the world really loving it."
The application truly has proven its global appeal. Around half of the one million downloads were from the United States. The other half is comprised of fans in Great Britain, and many non-English speaking countries such as Germany, Peru and Sri Lanka.
Over the last year and a half, the Shakespeare application has also gained popularity with professional actors and directors. Last October, the Modern Shakespeare Company in San Francisco assembled a troupe of top-notch Shakespearean actors to perform a reading of Macbeth on their iPhones. Apple hosted the pioneering theatrical event at the Apple Store Theatre in San Francisco, CA.
The Shakespeare application has also garnered a large student following. Both English teachers and students have shared their stories of success in the classroom. The Shakespeare application is a fresh way for young students to experience the Bard. PlayShakespeare.com is the ultimate free Shakespeare resource providing high-quality play texts, reviews, a discussion forum, a download library, a Shakespeare Directory and the latest Brand news.
"When I think about a million people," ponders Igor Zhadanov of Readdle, "I imagine a large city with each and every citizen with an iPhone reading Shakespeare. It's really inspiring."
The Shakespeare application for the iPhone and iPod touch is free. Shakespeare Pro iPad Edition is designed for advanced readers, features glossary, bookmarks, line numbers and more. Application supports iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and is available on the Apple App Store at $19.99 (USD).