Android Owners Love Free Apps

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Smartphone owners love free apps, but none as much as those toting Android phones, according to new data from Distimo. Approximately 25 percent of apps downloaded across all smartphone platforms were free apps with the exception of Android, where a whopping 57 percent of the apps grabbed were free. The Dutch analytics company finds that games are the most popular apps across all platforms — 90 percent of the most popular free apps and 80 percent of the most popular paid apps.

Twitter is still a popular social network for the Apple and Android crowds according to the new numbers. The official Twitter app was recently released for both the iPhone and the Android platforms, and quickly moved up the chart of the most popular free apps. It has already captured the number 10 spot on the iPhone free app list and number 6 on the Android chart.

Amazon only recently released an Android version of its Kindle reader app, but it has been out for the iPad since that device’s launch date. Apple has its own iBooks reader app on the iPad, and the numbers indicate it is kicking Amazon’s Kindle app to the curb with iBooks. Both reader apps are on the ten most popular apps list, but iBooks is in the top position and the Kindle app has the bottom spot. That disparity is somewhat surprising given how long the Amazon Kindle market has been in business compared to Apple’s new iBookstore. Most likely it reflects how hard Apple is pushing iPad owners to install the iBooks app.

Distimo’s look at the top 100 grossing applications on each platform points to the money-making opportunities the Apple App Store provides to developers. The average app price for both the iPhone and iPad top grossing apps was almost double that of the other phone platforms. The top 100 grossing apps on the iPhone were higher priced than those on the iPad; they averaged a smooth 36 percent higher average price than the top grossing iPad apps. Of course the iPhone apps have a bigger head start than the iPad apps, given how short a time the iPad has been on the market.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Are You Empowering Your Mobile Work Force?

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