Netherlands-based app store analytics company Distimo has today released its full-year 2010 report into the global apps market, reports Guy Daniels. It shows that although Apple’s App Store grew the most in terms of absolute numbers, both BlackBerry’s App World and Nokia’s Ovi Store experienced triple digit growth.
The report, which is available as a free download fromDistimo, covers all the major mobile applications stores: the Apple App Store for iPad, the Apple App Store for iPhone, BlackBerry App World, Google Android Market, Nokia Ovi Store, Palm App Catalog, Windows Marketplace for Mobile (6.x), and Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for the year 2010, while identifying trends and providing insight into the most popular content of 2010.
Distimo has identified a trend in the Apple App Store for iPhone towards more business oriented applications, reflecting the switch and indicating that increasingly more consumers see the iPhone as a productivity tool. Despite their business reputation, BlackBerry App World attracts more entertainment focused applications. Meanwhile, Google Android Market and Nokia Ovi Store show a more balanced category growth.
The bad news for developers is that while the proportion of free applications grew, the average price of paid applications has also declined. This price decline is evidenced in the 100 most popular applications in the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Ovi stores.
Trying to identify trends is proving difficult. For example, Distimo reports that the top 300 free applications in the US generated, on average, over 3 million downloads each day during December 2010, while only 350,000 paid applications are downloaded daily. However, paid downloads increased almost 30 per cent more than free downloads in the top 300, when comparing the download figures of December to those of June.
The iPhone store doubled its total number of applications offered during the past year to almost 300,000, whilst the Android Market saw a six-fold increase to almost 130,000 applications.
The BlackBerry store reached 18,000 apps by year-end, just behind Nokia’s Ovi Store which reached 25,000 applications.
Looking at individual winners, it’s no surprise that the Angry Birds game tops the chart of paid-for apps for the iPhone, whilst Facebook is the number one free app. What is more interesting perhaps is how this compares with iPad apps – Apple’s Pages software is the leading paid-for app, whilst Apple’s iBook reader is the number one free app, reflecting the different use of the iPad to that of a smartphone.
And on the subject of the iPad, what news on the success of tablet-specific magazines and newspapers? Er, not much. Despite much hype last year, hard data is proving difficult to come by.
Guardian-owned PaidContent reports today that only two publishers shared their data in the latest set of ABC readership figures. Condé Nast's Wired US iPad magazine sold 73,000 app-hosted copies in its first nine days in May 2010 but that fell to 23,000 in November. Stable-mates Vanity Fair and GQ also experienced declines and rival publisher Rodale’s Men’s Health title fell from 2,800 to 2,000 by November.
With two-thirds of publishers stating that “in-app content” is their best chance of monetizing mobile content, according to the Association of Online Publishers, these figures are not good.
Meanwhile, Google will be focusing on applications as part of its ongoing DC Talks
conference series. Google estimates that are now more than 500 thousand apps running on more than 150 million mobile devices, and that the App economy is estimated to be $2 billion annually, growing to $4 billion by 2012.
It wants to hear from successful app developers, and is inviting them to submit questions in advance via Google Moderator.
The panel will be moderated by Jon Potter of RPG Strategies and be held at Google’s Washington DC office this Thursday.
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