Games Top the Charts in the iPhone and Android App Markets

While it might be true that the number of Book apps is growing at a faster rate, Games continue to dominate the list of popular U.S. iTunes Apps. Games accounted for about a fifth of all iTunes apps over the past week, but the category continued to have a disproportionate share of the Top 100 charts, accounting for 52% of the Top Grossing, 56% of the Top Paid, and 50% of the Top Free apps:


Since most Book apps are actually individual e-books, the Gaming category would have a hard time keeping up with the ever increasing number of Books. Once publishers figured out how to turn their titles into iPhone apps, the number of Book apps started growing faster than Games. Nevertheless Games continue to rule the Top 100 charts.

A similar story is playing out on the Android platform: the most popular Android apps are primarily Games. (In the Android taxonomy, most Books are in the Reference category.)


Returning to the top iPhone apps, the price of the Top Grossing apps stabilized somewhat last week. Except for the top decile (rank 1 through 10) for which the median price was about $7, the median price across the other deciles was around $5.


Over the last week, the Top Paid Games were slightly more expensive than apps that made the overall Top 100 Paid list. iPhone Game developers will tell you that (visually) compelling and engaging iPhone Games are far from trivial to design and market††. So it’s no surprise that the creators of the most popular Games are starting to charge a little more for their software.

(†) Data for this post was for the week ending 11/1/2009.

(††) First, designing for such a small screen poses a major challenge. Secondly, the sheer number of Game apps (close to 20K last week) makes it hard to create something that turns into a long-running top-seller.

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