Mac App Store Good for Developers and Gamers, Study Finds

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Apple's two-month old Mac App Store may not have a lot of software compared to its iOS counterparts--but a recent study finds there's still a lot to love about the Mac App store if you're a developer.

Netherlands-based Distimo, a metrics firm that tracks mobile application stores, says the Mac App Store has about 73 percent fewer apps than did the iPad App Store after its initial two months. Distimo divides the iTunes App Store into separate iPhone and iPad retail outlets.

Despite the small number of available titles, the average Mac app is generating half the sales revenue of iPad software among the top 300 apps for both stores, according to Distimo.

Strong revenues for Mac apps can be credited in part to the higher selling prices, which are, on average, priced seven times higher than iPhone apps and three times higher than iPad apps. The average price for a top 300 app in each store is $11.21 (Mac), $4.19 (iPad) and $1.57 (iPhone), according to Distimo.

Freebies may also be a defining reason the Mac App Store is becoming a moneymaker. Only 12 percent of apps in the Mac App Store are free, compared to 35 percent for iPhone and 29 percent for iPad.

A Gamer's Paradise

There are approximately 2,225 applications available in the Mac App Store, according to Distimo, and 646 (29 percent) of those programs are games.

"The popularity of games in the Mac App Store combined with the fact that there are already 646 games in the store, signals the Mac App Store could boost Mac gaming," Distimo notes.

Windows has traditionally been the preferred platform for PC gamers.

Games aren't just for the Mac, however, and are the most popular application category across all three Apple stores, Distimo found. Productivity apps such as iWork and Bento take second place in the Mac App Store, while entertainment apps such as SlingPlayer Mobile or Sketchbook Pro are the second-most popular type of apps for both iOS devices.

App Battle Continues

Distimo's report also provides a look at the number of apps in other major mobile application stores. As of February 2011, there were over 300,000 iPhone apps, but only half as many for Android smartphones.

Other competitors such as Blackberry App World, Nokia's Ovi Store, WebOS App Catalog, and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Apps Marketplace all had less than 50,000 apps, according to Distimo. Microsoft is making some gains in terms of app numbers, the company announced on Tuesday that Phone 7 Marketplace now has about 10,000 apps.

Even though Distimo's report discussed the Mac App Store, the report did not consider app stores for Windows such as Intel's AppUp Center for netbooks.

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