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Summary:

Earlier today, the guys from Skyhook Wireless sent me their latest location-aware applications report. The first thing I noticed was a sharp decline in the number of location-aware apps during the months of May and June 2009. Why? Because of something known as Bulk Apps — […]

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Earlier today, the guys from Skyhook Wireless sent me their latest location-aware applications report. The first thing I noticed was a sharp decline in the number of location-aware apps during the months of May and June 2009. Why? Because of something known as Bulk Apps — the dirty little secret of Apple’s App Store.

lbsreportjuly2009.gif

These are typically local search or travel apps written by a single publisher. Molinker is one such example. It pulls content from Wikipedia and Flickr for a country or travel destination and renders it for viewing offline. Molinker offers more than 800 of such applications, at 99 cents a pop. Another bulk apps provider is GP Apps; it has 380-plus apps, each of which essentially takes a search word and marries it to Google Maps.

The presence of these bulk applications makes you wonder how real the 65,000 applications (in the Apple iTunes App Store) number is. It certainly makes me wonder about the data that was released earlier this week. I have reached out to Apple, asking them to clarify exactly how they count these applications.

Either way, the question is: Should Apple count these 850 applications as separate apps or as a single one? I, for one, believe that all template-based apps should be counted as one. What do you guys think?

  1. One app.

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  2. What do I think? I think that Apple can count them however it wants and let the consumers decide.

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  3. Pls forgive my ignorance, but what is the significance of the distinction?…

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  4. Bah… who cares, really? Once you’re in the thousands there are more apps than you’re going to use anyway. A little numbers padding is just noise. The real question is: does the app you need exist?

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  5. Thanks for the evidence of something we’ve all suspected. Some of the iphone apps are just fluff and most are probable not that great.

    However, if they’re submitted separately, approved separately and installed separately, then each one is an app.

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  6. I don’t think it’s a relevant question. The only ones who actually care about those numbers are media types. Normal people just want things that meet their needs. The number of apps is irrelevant.

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  7. A nice report !

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  8. Om,
    Very good find.
    These apps can help those who cannot search the content on wikipedia or just cannot “google it”.
    I would add the fart apps and such to this list plus the Traffic apps for each city , weather app for each city ..
    Which boils down to few really important apps.

    You can do all the search weather , search flickr photos by using the SAFARI browser why bother with these APPS.

    Which makes me conclude that the average iPhone user ( or any other phone user wanting “APPS” for basic internet searches ) is not really a smart phone user !!!!!.

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  9. I would really like to see these apps banned as they clutter the AppStore. Try scrolling through a list of new apps and having to go through hundreds of these. So yes, count them as one and they should be listed as one. Maybe have these devs provide ONE app and sell their updates.

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