On the iPhone People Buy Games, Not Books

When it comes to buying apps in the iTunes App Store, books are the most widely available, but they’re also the apps least likely to be purchased, according to Apptizr, an iPhone application recommendation service. It found that 22 percent of all available paid apps in the App Store are books, yet they account for just 3 percent of all app purchases. For developers, a better return on investment comes from Games, Entertainment and Productivity software, the top three categories of paid software in the App Store.

Apptizr’s aggregated data is a gold mine for current and would-be developers alike. For instance, its latest report shows that utilities are the most-browsed category — potential software buyers look for utilities 24 percent of the time. That compares to 15 percent searching the games category, which is the runner-up in terms of interest. And the folks browsing through all those books only do so 2 percent of the time; in other words, developers may be creating many book titles, but they’re simply not in demand.

Apptizr’s report (PDF) comes from the crowd-sourced user data it collects from more than 10 million users, which install the free Apptizr software and “seed” the service by sharing the types of applications they prefer. The Apptizr app then tracks software titles users install on their iPhones and suggests new ones based on an in-house algorithm — Apptizr has offered over 10 million software recommendations to date. Think of it as a Pandora service for iPhone apps.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

The App Developer’s Guide to Choosing a Mobile Platform

Chart and thumbnail image courtesy of Apptizr

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