Most iPad Apps Are Games, But Why?

Three days after the launch of Apple’s iPad, video games are dominating the app landscape, according to analytics company Distimo (via TechCrunch).

Distimo counted 2,385 iPad-specific apps as of April 6, and 833 of them were games. The closest behind were entertainment apps, with 260 specifically for the iPad. Games account for roughly a third of all iPad apps, compared to almost 60 percent on the iPhone.

It makes sense that games account for fewer total apps on the iPad than the iPhone, but the discrepancy is still shocking given what Apple tells us about the applications people are downloading. Looking at current top 10 charts on the iPad, there are only three games among the most downloaded paid apps, and none among the most downloaded free apps. For all the games in the iPad App Store, few are making a dent in overall sales, especially compared to the iPhone, on which games account for eight of the top 10 paid apps and seven of the top 10 free apps.

What are people downloading the most on the iPad? Productivity tools like Pages and GoodReader, informational apps such as The Weather Channel and USA Today, and entertainment portals such as iBooks, Netflix and the ABC Player. From the initial charts, it seems that people are not nearly as interested in playing games on the iPad as they were on the iPhone. Anecdotally, I’m not. I’m still waiting for a killer music creation app and a blogging tool that actually works.

Of course, things can change. The top download charts could eventually list more games as they flood the App Store — especially if developers get desperate and start slashing prices. As a gamer, I certainly wouldn’t complain, but I also hope developers see the need for more productivity, information and content apps, and fill it.


12 comments

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  1. Brandon Backlin April 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Give it time. That IPS screen just screams, “Run a game on me!!!”

  2. Hamranhansenhansen April 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    I think people are currently excited mainly by the things iPad can do that iPhone can’t. The iPhone can play games, the iPad can play games. It’s a given. But productivity is in a whole new realm on iPad.

    The Citrix app that lets you run a whole PC desktop on your iPad is novel. The WebEx app that enables you to attend meetings from iPad. The iWork apps and iBooks are dramatically different than the iPhone experience.

    > I’m still waiting for a killer music creation app

    StudioTrack for iPad, from the makers of FourTrack for iPhone. Brilliant.

    http://www.sonomawireworks.com/iphone/studiotrack/

  3. BeAloud April 8, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    Maybe it’s because the iPad can’t play flash games, casual gamers need something to do on their iPads 🙂
    Anyway, I can’t see how you can play games on the iPad for more than half an hour or so, before getting your arms and wrists tired of holding it.
    The new rumored smaller iPad will solve the current iPad XL ergonomics flaws, and I think it will be a great gaming platform.

  4. Jared Newman April 8, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    @Hamranhansenhansen

    I spotted StudioTrack while hunting the app store for music software a couple days ago. Definitely looks like a good buy for recording, but I’m more in the market for creation directly on the iPad — something along the lines of Reason/Ableton Live.

    Actually, if only the iPad could multitask, and you could port the sounds from one app (such as the awesome Nlog Free Synth) to a recording app, StudioTrack would be perfect.

  5. Peter August 13, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    I think iPad can offer an awesome background for playing games…it has an amazing visuality, great interface and some cool controlling gestures to make it a great tool of choice for gamers…
    Usually people will approach to it as a consuming tool, although there is much more…
    There are already a big number of free ipad games, that are worthiness for players

  6. ipad gamer November 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    It's all about the Free iPad Games for me. Just love the feeling of getting something for nothing in these times! Only the very best ones are listed on FiPg with an App Store rating of 3 or higher! We sort through the trash so you don't have to get your hands dirty!

  7. I want free iPad May 19, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    My friend says that getting an iPad for his 10 year old was the best investment ever. The games are 2-3$ each, and comparing to DS where the games are 30-60$, it can save you a lot of money. The kid gets more games, the parent spends less cash. Win-win.

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