updated 02:40 pm EDT, Wed May 20, 2009
iPhone Trumps in GPS Apps
Location-aware iPhone apps not only outnumber their BlackBerry counterparts by 40 to 1 but are less expensive as well, Skyhook Wireless said Wednesday. Best known for the Wi-Fi positioning used to help the iPhone, the company notes that there were 2,300 iPhone apps with location-finding as a major feature and just 57 in BlackBerry App World. By contrast, Android Market had more still at 300. The difference comes in spite of BlackBerry devices having GPS and third-party app support for longer than the iPhone has supported either.
Software on the App Store is also about a quarter of the cost of that on App World. The average price of a paid location app on the iPhone is about $3.60 where a BlackBerry app typically sells for $13.60. Although Android location apps are less expensive still at 84 cents on average, the majority of all its apps, 80 percent, are free. Apple claims the highest ratio of paid apps at 74 percent while about 65 percent of BlackBerry location apps are pay-only.
In all cases, the vast majority of apps are either oriented towards navigation or travel; social networking is a distant third. Most apps are abandoned after about two weeks but are usually replaced with a new app.
The discrepancy between the three smartphone platforms isn't fully explained, though the iPhone's inability to support turn-by-turn GPS before iPhone OS 3.0 discourages the presence of apps with extensive pre-supplied maps. Skyhook believes Android is hindered by the reliance on Google Checkout for paid apps within Android Market instead of having a simpler method for developers. [via GigaOM]
Number of location apps in store by month
Distribution of location apps by type, April 2009