iPhone Nearing 1 Billion Apps Downloads

Apple says it's rapidly approaching its billionth app download. It also made a list of the top 20 downloaded apps to date in both the free and the paid category. In the paid category it's all about games, although Smule's Ocarina appears as well as iFart mobile.

In the free category, here are the top 20 according to Apple:

  1. Facebook
  2. Google Earth
  3. Pandora
  4. Tap Tap Revenge 
  5. Shazam
  6. Pac Man Lite
  7. Backgrounds
  8. Touch Hockey FS5
  9. Labyrinth Lite Edition
  10. Flashlight
  11. Urbanspoon
  12. Movies/Flixter
  13. iBowl
  14. Lightsaber
  15. Sol Free Solitaire
  16. MySpace Mobile
  17. Zippo
  18. The Weather Channel 
  19. BubbleWrap
  20. Remote

Compare comScore's list for February (only).

A review from FoxNews argues that the Palm Pre will be the first true competitor to the iPhone. However, the Pre is not likely to see the iPhone's success in hardware sales or potentially in app development. It's somewhat late to market and exclusively on Sprint, initially. 

An article on VentureBeat has some anecdotal feedback from developers regarding their attitudes and frustrations with the various non-iPhone smartphone platforms (bad news there for WinMo, RIM, Palm and Symbian). But it's anecdotal so don't generalize too much.

Here's the Skyhook data about developer interest in the various mobile platforms. 

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Related: MediaPost reports on iPhone app usage frequency based on a new report from Compete, Inc:

According to an upcoming report on smartphone usage by online market research firm Compete, 39% of iPhone users cited weather-related apps as one of the three kinds of applications they use most frequently. (The Weather Channel app specifically was cited by 13%.)

A quarter of iPhone users said Facebook's was one of three apps they accessed most often, followed by game apps, at 20%. More than 10% pointed to music-related apps. After that, the more than 100 individual apps or types of apps cited by users fell to single-digit percentages, with most less than 2%.