Mobile App Prices for iPad Not Skyrocketing After All

With the bigger screen of Apple's iPad compared to the iPhone came the concern that the price of apps would increase apace. With more screen real estate and a faster processor, it stood to reason that premium apps would appear and developers would charge more.

But one month out from Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) launch of the new device, prices so far are holding fairly steady. Some verticals are showing a price premium, while the majority are only on average a dollar more than the typical iPhone app.

That's the finding of a report from Distimo, an app store analytics firm in Holland that monitors the various mobile app stores. In its monthly report for April, the firm provided a detailed analysis of the first month of iPad application availability.

So far, there are 4,870 apps in the iPad app store, an impressive growth rate given that the device was projected to launch with about 700 titles. Most are expected to be ports of iPhone apps that take advantage of the larger screen and faster processor.

When Apple announced this week that the iPad had surpassed the 1 million unit mark, CEO Steve Jobs claimed that there are 200,000 iPhone apps and 5,000 iPad apps. The Distimo figures are slightly below that, but they were also only gathered up to April 26, and Apple is adding new apps to both stores every day.

Telehealth, Mobile Health Care Apps Most Pricey

Of the 186,414 applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone, Distimo found that 73 percent charge a fee from $0.99 and up, while 80 percent of the 4,870 applications in the Apple App Store for iPad are fee-based. Games are the largest application category on the iPad, with 1,577 titles, 32 percent of the total, followed by entertainment with 455 titles and books with 396 titles.

The average price for an iPhone app is $3.82, compared to $4.67 for the average iPad app. The most expensive app categories on the iPad and iPhone are medical and financial, commanding average prices on the iPad of $42.11 and $18.48, respectively. The average price for those two categories on the iPhone is $10.74 and $5.74, respectively.

The higher price of medical applications is significantly influenced by six applications published by Lexi-Comp, which are priced between $9.99 and $299.99.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


iPad, Apple, mobile apps, telehealth, mobile downloads