iPad & iPhone Paid App Ecosystem Differences

Shortly before and after the first iPad’s release, many people in and out of the tech community derisively described it as “a big iPod touch”. The iPhone/iPod touch and iPad devices have, however, taken on very distinct personalities in the past 12 months. A good place to see the differences between the two device types are in their respective Top 10 Paid Apps list.

The top 10 paid iPhone apps are all games. Angry Birds continues to rule this roost in positions 1 (Angry Birds), 2 (Angry Birds Rio) and 9 (Angry Birds Seasons). Angry Birds has a strong showing in the iPad top 10 paid apps list too with Angry Birds Rio HD at #3, Angry Birds HD at #6 and Angry Birds Seasons HD at #10. While a game tops the iPad paid apps list (Death Rally), the other six positions in the list are filled by non-game apps.

2. (Apple) Pages – word processing
4. (Apple) Garageband – music creation
5. Penultimate – note taking
7. Splashtop Remote Desktop – utility
8. Friendly Plus for Facebook – social networking
9. (Apple) Keynote – presentation

In fact, the iPad paid apps list looks more like the Mac paid apps list than the iPhone’s. The Mac OS X (desktop/notebook) top 10 list has only two games in it (Where’s Waldo at #3 and Angry Birds at #6).

While non-game apps are a significant part of the iPhone eco-system, the iPad’s place in the gadget universe is definitely a bit different from the iPhone and appears to be taking on the role of a notebook computer in terms of what people are willing to pay for use on their iPad.