Posted 1/14/11 : The Netherlands-based apps monitoring organisation Distimo has reported on the startling development of mobile apps on the top platforms during 2010, showing a sector that is enjoying phenomenal growth.
 
The study embraces iStore, Blackberry App World, Google Android Market, Nokia Ovi Store, Pal All Catelogue, Windows Marketplace for Mobile and Windows7 Marketplace, and contains detailed statistics on fave applications and growth statistics.
 
The Apple iStore still rules, it appears, boasting a range of 300 000 apps, or double what it was a year ago. Growth in free apps soared 174 percent, whilst paid app downloads increased by 111 percent.
 
Google’s Android apps are however increasing rapidly and were up six-fold in 2010, reaching a total of 130 000. Blackberry and Nokia Ovi trail in third position with 18 000 and 25 000 respectively, although the growth rate has nevertheless been remarkable, with the number of available apps tripling over the past year.
 
All platforms reported that free downloads dominated their activities, generating high volumes.
 
The United States remains the top user of apps, with the top 300 freebies accounting for a startling 3 million downloads a day during December 2010 alone. Over the same period, paid downloads reached 350 000 a day, increasing by some 30 percent over the last six months of 2010.
 
Distimo reports that the average price – under a dollar – of paid downloads has actually declined, probably due to the increasingly competitive nature of the sector.
 
Google Android and Nokia Ovi have a more balanced download record when it comes to categories chosen by users, whilst Blackberry users appear to favour entertainment downloads and iStore users tend to go for business-oriented apps –  a surprising fact given brand perceptions.
 
Overall, game apps seem to be the most popular with the Angry Bird series of paid downloads the top fave. Highest ranked free apps include Facebook, Skype, iBooks, Talking Tomcat, Windows Live Messenger and Google Live App.
 
Established favourites like Bejewelled and Blitz top the paid list with Angry Birds.