The latest Distimo report is out and the report breaks down the various smartphone app stores and their growth in 2010. On the surface, it looks like App World did really well, with triple digit growth to nearly 18,000 applications applications. But where does this growth come from? Growth in App World has occurred in categories that contain apps which most users wouldn’t consider apps. The following categories saw the most growth in App World:
Reference and eBooks – 733% (books aren’t apps)
Themes – 653% (even though themes are installed, they really aren’t apps)
Music and Audio – 402% (most of these are individual radio stations with dedicated apps that don’t provide much value)
News – 353% (like the radio station apps, news apps are usually apps dedicated to a single source. Again, there’s very little value here)
Health & Wellness – 243% (a large portion of this category includes Medical Guides which are essentially eBooks).
According to Distimo, the Reference & eBooks category accounts for 29% of the total growth in App World. This style of growth isn’t specific to BlackBerry either. In the Android Market, there was an explosion of growth in the Comics section at 802%. Both Android and Nokia saw explosive growth in the Sports category, which is likely attributable to individual team apps (like radio and news apps, these provide little value). The iPhone doesn’t seem to have had much of the same issues as the others but it’s probably because they’ve already been through this phase. Overall, it looks like the smartphone industry is plagued by people out to turn a quick book or get a simple app out there, but as with the iPhone, things may level out.
For more stats about App World and to see how other platforms did in 2010, check out the full report from Distimo.