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IPod app downloads outnumber iPhone for the first time. Apple widens lead over Android.
At twice the price of an iPhone but without phone functionality, ‘what’s the point of the iPod Touch?’ you might wonder. Turns out the point is Christmas. App downloads to iPods increased 1000% on Christmas day, and surpassed downloads to the iPhone for the first time (by a whopping 172%), according to new stats from Flurry, the biggest mobile apps analytics company. Giving a phone as a gift is complicated--committing recipients to $100 bucks in monthly charges constitutes a major faux pax--but the game- and music-centric iPod makes a perfect stocking stuffer for kids.
IPod touch 3G downloads increased by more about 900%, suggesting that iTunes gift cards or second-hand purchases of older models also picked up on Christmas.
The stats also show that Apple continues not only to dominate Android in the App market in absolute numbers (App Store downloads are 13 times greater than the Android Market); it also continues to grow faster. Overall, Apple saw a 51% monthly increase in app downloads from November, while Android app downloads increased only 20%, fueled by Motorola’s release of the Droid.
Considering the lower starting numbers of downloads, one might expect Android to have won the growth battle… but the market is still too young, and more importantly, no non-phone equivalent to the iPod exists yet. The closest device in the market is the Nook, Barnes & Noble’s answer to Amazon’s Kindle. The Nook will run a version of Android, and will therefore be able to download Android Apps, which will be a key differentiator for the e-reader, but it had release problems, and the Android apps are not the device’s centerpiece.
One prediction for 2010: Someone will create a data-only Android device designed primarily for games and music that will kill it next Christmas season. Also, app developers will be even more eager to get their new offerings completed in time for the holiday rush.
Flurry is a mobile application analytics company specializing in the iPhone and Android OS markets. Last week it announced a merger with Pinch Media, a mobile analytics firm that focuses on ad optimization.
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