Truly an App for Everything: App Stores' Business Boomed in 2010
The Apple App Store.
CREDIT: Apple Inc
It's little wonder that the phrase "there's an app for that" has become such a cliché — indeed, with the incredible growth of app stores over the course of 2010, as detailed in a new report, there statistically must be an app for nearly everything.
A year-end report from Distimo, an app store analytics firm, shows that consumers have really taken a shine to software applications, or apps, for their smartphones. Interestingly, apps for the iPhone have begun trending toward business applications, Distimo saw as well, while BlackBerry — considered the businessperson's phone of choice — has had more entertainment apps appear in its apps tore shelves.
The biggest app vendor, the Apple App Store for iPhone, doubled its number of apps to 300,000 . The second-biggest vendor, the Google Android Market, now has about 130,000 apps, which is six times what it had at the beginning of 2010, Distimo reports.
Meanwhile, the Blackberry App World and Nokia Ovi Store tripled in size to around 18,000 and 25,000 apps, respectively.
Free apps, as one might expect, have done particularly well. But paid downloads did jump by about a third between June 2010 and Dec. 2010, though the 100 most popular paid apps declined in price.
Distimo also noted that iPhone apps in general have recently geared more toward business-oriented purposes, while BlackBerry apps have gone the other way, toward entertainment.
Those trends buck the reputation of each smartphone and could indicate that the iPhone is becoming more of a productivity tool for its users.
Perhaps BlackBerry-wielding business types are also giving in to the allure of Angry Birds and other potential goof-offs, such as Facebook . The game and the social network were the most popular game and non-game app, respectively, with each appearing six times in the top lists of all stores.