Google, RIM, and Nokia beat Apple's App Store growthBy Emil Protalinski
In 2010, Google's Android Market, Research In Motion's BlackBerry App World, and Nokia's Ovi Store added apps faster than Apple's App Store, according to the latest report from research company Distimo. Apple grew the most in 2010 in terms of the absolute number of applications in the US, but the runners-up showed more growth in terms of percentage points.
The Apple App Store for iPhone doubled its total during the past year to almost 300,000 applications (excluding the iPad store), while the total number of applications available for Google Android Market today, almost 130,000, is six times the number of applications available one year ago. BlackBerry App World and Nokia Ovi Store showed triple digit growth in the last year as well, to nearly 18,000 applications and 25,000 applications, respectively.
Google, RIM, and Nokia have all tried to get software developers to consider them instead of, or in addition to, Apple. In 2010, they did this with instructional events and new tools. Apple's fastest-growing category was business, while its competitors mainly added media and entertainment applications. On the whole, the market share of free applications rose while the price of paid applications fell.
"The high download volumes of free applications appear to attract developers to switch to monetization methods other than paid," the report reads. "The top 300 free applications in the United States 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% more than free downloads in the top 300 when comparing the download figures of December 2010 to those of June 2010."