Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues building out its App Store digital storefront, unveiling a new Essentials Hall of Fame section spotlighting 50 iOS applications the computing giant dubs "the best of the best." The Hall of Fame entrants span from Angry Birds to Zen Bound 2 Universal, encompassing games, productivity tools, business solutions and entertainment--roughly a quarter of the selections fall into the Free Apps category, with the Paid Apps ranging in price from 99 cents to $19.99 (for the Golfscape GPS Rangefinder). It is unknown what criteria Apple employed to enshrine the Hall of Fame applications, although the presence of many longtime bestsellers indicates download totals played a significant role in the process.
The Essentials Hall of Fame represents Apple's latest attempt to address some of the content discovery issues that have plagued the App Store as the marketplace has grown. In addition to the Hall of Fame, the Essentials section presents recommended applications bundled together under themes like Apps Starter Kit, Busy Parents, Personal Assistant, Get In Shape and Music Discovery. Last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the App Store inventory now surpasses 300,000 applications, trumpeting its integrated user experience and calling it "the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone. Apple's App Store has over three times as many apps as Google's marketplace and offers developers one-stop shopping to get their apps to market easily and to get paid swiftly."
Apple currently adds more than 12,000 new iPhone applications and close to 5,500 new iPad apps each month according to new data issued by app store analytics firm Distimo. The average price of iPhone apps now stands at $4.03, up from $3.94 in April 2010; during that same time, the average price of iPad apps increased 14.5 percent from $4.34 to $4.97. Distimo adds while that the average iPad app is 23 percent more expensive than the average iPhone app, the average price among the top 100 premium applications in October 2010 was 171 percent higher in the App Store for iPad than the bestselling apps for iPhone ($5.80 to $2.14, respectively). Distimo explains the discrepancy by stating that 45 percent of paid iPhone applications are priced at 99 cents, compared to only 24 percent of iPad apps. "Consumers are willing to pay much more for an iPad application than for an iPhone application," the firm states. "Developers, however, are not yet pricing their applications accordingly."
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