Android Market Beats Iphone App Store
Google Inc.’s Android Market, Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry App World and Nokia Oyj’s Ovi Store added mobile-phone software faster than Apple Inc.’s App Store in the U.S. last year.
Android Market had the highest rate of overall growth, reaching 130,000 applications in the U.S. by Dec. 31, or more than six times the number at the end of 2009, Utrecht, Netherlands-based Distimo said in a report. Nokia’s free applications surged 10-fold, helping its total U.S. applications more than triple to 25,000, the third-biggest app lineup after Apple and Android.
Nokia, Android and RIM have wooed software developers with instructional events and new tools in an effort to catch up to Apple, whose iPhone U.S. catalog includes almost 300,000 applications. Apple’s fastest-growing category was business, while competitors added media and entertainment applications to counter the Cupertino, California- based company’s lead in music and books.
The high download volumes of free applications appear to attract developers to switch to monetization methods other than paid.
BlackBerry’s store more than tripled last year to 18,000 apps. Apple’s iPhone U.S. offerings doubled.
The market share of free applications rose while the price of paid applications fell, the analysts said. Among the top 100 applications, prices declined by an average 9 percent at Android and by 61 percent at Ovi Store. The proportion of applications costing more than $5 fell to 15 percent as of Dec. 31 from 21 percent a year earlier.
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