THE WALLED GARDEN that is Apple's Iphone app store is getting a good kicking by rival app stores run by Google, RIM and Nokia.
According to research company Distimo, the Android Market had the highest rate of overall growth, reaching 130,000 applications by 31 December or more than six times the number at the end of 2009.
Nokia's free applications increased by nine-fold, helping its total applications to more than triple to 25,000. This makes it the third-biggest apps line-up after Apple and Android.
While Apple's Iphone catalog includes almost 300,000 applications it is not growing at the same rate. Most new Iphone apps were for business, while the competitors added media and entertainment applications to counter Apple's dominance of the music and books markets.
Analysts Hendrik Koekkoek and Gert Jan Spriensma wrote that Blackberry's app store more than tripled in size last year to 18,000 apps, according to Distimo. Apple's Iphone 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 of nine per cent at the Android Market and by 61 per cent at Nokia's Ovi Store. The proportion of applications costing more than $5 fell to 15 per cent as of 31 December from 21 per cent a year earlier, Distimo said. µ
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