When it comes to Apple's App Store, the marketplace has been a runaway hit. Not only did it inspire RIM, Google, and Microsoft to launch similar marketplaces, but it generated 800 million downloads and a massive new software industry. Say what you will about the iPhone and Apple itself, but it’s hard to fault Apple's tactics and track record when it comes to the App Store.
Within the App store, according to a recent study, games are by far the most successful applications in both sales and downloads. Games scored 12 of the top 25 most-downloaded application spots. One game, Tap Tap Revenge, has become a phenomenon, downloaded on over 32 percent of iPhones and iPod Touches that have connected to the App store.
Brian Jurutka, a VP at market research firm ComScore, which carried out the recent survey, states, "Tap Tap's success demonstrates that there is ample opportunity in the app space for any publisher to obtain significant distribution with a product that engages users. Since the number of app users is growing nearly 10% each month, that opportunity will only continue to grow for both existing and emerging app developers."
Game developers like John Carmack are finding the iPhone and iPod Touch's powerful hardware and vast user base makes for an extremely promising mobile gaming device. Some believe the iPhone/iPod Touch will soon rival Nintendo's DS and Sony's PlayStation Portable, the traditional entries in the mobile gaming market.
At the Game Developers Conference last month, an annual meeting of some of the industry's brightest minds, the talk of the town was the iPhone OS v3.0 The new OS brings a wealth of new useful APIs, including in-app purchases, push notification, and most importantly peer-to-peer communication, allowing multiplayer gaming and voice chat.
Outside of games, some of the most successful programs, according to ComScore, were the MySpace and Facebook social networking apps, the Lucasfilm virtual Lightsaber app, and the internet-music streaming application Pandora.