Apple's iPad tablet PC continued to prompt third-party developer interest in the weeks leading up to its launch, according to analytics firm Flurry, which has noted a 185 percent increase in iPhone OS application starts since the iPad was originally announced on Jan. 27. In addition, Flurry indicated that companies primarily based online, such as e-commerce outfits, and companies founded expressly to create iPhone apps were the top developers of apps, followed by traditional gaming companies and traditional brick-and-mortar manufacturers and retailers.
Apple's iPad continues to stoke third-party developer interest as the tablet
PC's April 3 launch approaches, according to analytics firm Flurry, which
posted new numbers suggesting a continued rise in the number of mobile
applications being developed for the device.
"Over six weeks since Apple announced the iPad, Flurry continues to
measure a significant increase in iPhone OS new application starts within the
system," Peter Farago, vice president of marketing for Flurry, wrote
in a March 15 posting on the company's official blog. "We continue to
attribute this growth to excitement generated by the impending launch of iPad ...
a large portion of the applications we are seeing are custom version of
existing applications tailors for the iPad."
Farago suggests that, following Apple's Jan. 27 iPad unveiling, developer
startups of iPhone applications with integrated Flurry analytics spiked by 185
percent, versus the preannouncement period of August-December 2009.
That same blog posting also attempts to break down the "heritage"
of iPhone and iPad app designers, delineating six categories: those companies
founded especially to create iPhone apps, established "traditional media"
companies such as Disney creating apps to spread their brand, mobile-centric
companies originally started to build apps for other smartphones like
BlackBerry, brick-and-mortar companies, e-commerce and other online-centric
companies, and traditional video-game makers.
Flurry's analysis shows that 22 percent of iPhone apps are created by
online-centric companies, followed by companies founded to specifically create
iPhone apps at 20 percent, traditional gaming companies at 19 percent,
traditional media and bricks-and-mortar companies at 17 percent each, and
mobile-centric companies at 5 percent.
Developers' interest in the iPad may be justified based on estimated preorders
for the device, which began on March 12. Some analysts judge that around
120,000 iPads sold via Apple's Website on that date, with some 50,000 units
purchased within a single 2-hour period.
Customers seem to be gravitating equally to different versions of the
device, with an estimated 33 percent purchasing the 16GB version, 32 percent
selecting the 32GB and another 33 percent choosing the 64GB. Some 69 percent of
customers have preordered the WiFi version of the device, versus 31 percent
selecting the WiFi and 3G-enabled iPad.
Daniel Tello, a blogger and activist, also suggested on the Deagol's AAPL
Model blog that sales following that initial spike would level off, as
represented by "a new, more subtle" curve once the preorder period
passes the 100- to 150-hour mark. That curve will then "get shallower as
the days and weeks pass." In conjunction with other members of Investor
Sanity forum, including Victor Castroll of Valcent Financial Group, Tello
extrapolated his figures from a 99-order sample over 19.5 hours, to
reach the estimate of 119,987 iPads preordered.
Apple claims that some 150,000 apps will be available for the iPad upon
launch, a number it hopes to reach by promoting the iPhone SDK 3.2 beta as a
platform for new mobile apps. According to a research report by IDC,
Apple's App Store will feature some 300,000 apps by the end of 2010, although
that rapid increase in offerings has led the company to take steps to police
the storefront more thoroughly.
Apple is selling the 16GB version of the iPad for $499 with WiFi, and $629
with WiFi and 3G. The 32GB version costs $599 with WiFi and $729 with WiFi and
3G. The 64GB version costs $699 with WiFi, and $829 with WiFi and 3G.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.