iPhone start-ups a minority on App Store, claims Flurry

iPhone start-ups a minority on App Store, claims Flurry
Research firm Flurry's monthly 'smartphone industry pulse' has taken a closer look at just what kinds of companies are releasing titles on the App Store. The firm concludes that traditional mobile studios are having a hard time making their way on iPhone.

In its February report, Flurry analysed "the genealogy of iPhone application content" - in short, the origin or heritage of each app and/or the publisher behind it.

Old guard leading charge

In terms of games, Flurry's statistics state that the majority of the titles on the App Store come from what it terms as 'traditional gaming' companies, including the likes of EA and Activision.

With a leading 36 per cent, it puts such publishers easily ahead of outfits created expressly for iPhone development. Fluffy claims these 'native iPhone' studios make up 21 per cent of the App Store's output.

In something of a surprising revelation, however, Fluffy believes traditional mobile companies - publishers who originally made their name on J2ME, BREW or BlackBerry - account for only 12 per cent of gaming content on the App Store, suggesting the transition from standard mobile platforms to iPhone is not an easy one to make.

"Investigating more deeply reveals that most successful companies on mobile, prior to the iPhone, did not originally start on mobile," Flurry states on its blog.

"Rather they came from traditional gaming, online and traditional media platforms. Simply put, few pure-play mobile gaming start-ups exist. Some exceptions include Gameloft, Glu Mobile and Digital Chocolate."

Facing up to Facebook

The report also compares the relative growth of iPhone apps compared to Facebook's current app assault, Flurry stating that an average of 58 new companies haved launch an app on the App Store every day since its launch in July 2008.

"This appears to be the largest amassing of 3rd party developer support by any development platform in such a compressed timeframe," Flurry continues.

"At the App Store's 18 month mark, reached this January, the number of iPhone apps was reported to have exceeded 140,000 compared to 60,000 we estimate Facebook had reached over the same number of months."

The company concludes, "Apple now leads Facebook with over twice as many available applications. We believe the difference in growth rates can be attributed to the App Store providing better monetisation possibilities for application developers than Facebook.

"Developers, like all rational companies, pursue markets where the path to revenue generation is clear."

Flurry's in-depth look at its findings can be read for free on the firm's blog.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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