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iPhone app volumes overwhelm Facebook's [U]

updated 11:15 am EDT, Mon March 15, 2010

iPhone has 2X more apps than Facebook

(Update: Facebook disputes the figure) Apple is rapidly widening the gap between its app platform and Facebook, new data from Flurry found today. Although the gap was relatively small about five months into the app portals' respective lifespans, by the 1.5 year mark Apple now has more than twice as many apps. The iPhone App Store's 140,000 confirmed apps easily outweigh the 60,000 web-based apps of Facebook's social network.

The jump is credited directly to profits. As Apple is better at encouraging and supporting paid apps, developers have chosen the iPhone platform simply because they can more reliably generate income. Facebook apps like Farmville are considered an exception as most apps are often small, free extensions to a user's account rather than a full service.

Beyond the competitive landscape, Flurry has also found that iPhone app developers are very evenly distributed. The largest single segment at 22 percent includes online veterans like Google and PopCap, but most other categories come close. These include both iPhone-first developers (20 percent) as well as large-scale game developers like EA and Gameloft (19 percent), traditional media (17 percent) and traditional retail (also 17 percent). Those trailing in the last 5 percent were app developers that had previously worked on a smaller app platform, such as BlackBerry OS or J2ME.

Within particular categories the distribution is logically biased towards those established in their particular fields. About 36 percent of iPhone game developers are experienced game firms, while 63 percent of news app writers are traditional news outlets.

No matter the category, development has jumped upwards as a result of the iPad, the analysts said. Starts on new iPhone OS projects jumped about 185 percent in January and February compared to the five months before.

Update: Facebook tells Electronista that there are over 500,000 active apps. Flurry has also corrected itself and says its 60,000-app Facebook estimate was based on November 2008, not today.

By Electronista Staff


  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    And gas stations now overwhelm Burger King outlets.

    What the h*** is the point of this article???

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000



    So more people are developing general purpose apps on a popular mobile device than social networking-based apps on a web site? What purpose would there be in creating a TomTom app for Facebook? Is the Facebook app market somehow less relevant because Amazon hasn't created a Kindle app yet?

    What's next? A report that people bought more fish than cars and thus fish markets are the next big thing?

  1. wingdo

    Senior User

    Joined: Apr 2001



    Slow news day or what?? Not that this can be called news .....

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    Ah ha

    Obviously this suggests that Apple is about to either buy Facebook or perhaps bring back eWorld as a social media destination to compete with Facebook. Or not. What a strange article.

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