The iPhone’s massive lead in the total number of apps may no longer be translating into a similar advantage in the marketplace, according to a new analysis by Facebook mobile app store Mplayit.
Apple’s iPhone famously has many more apps than even its closest competitor (the iPhone has over 100,000 available, compared to about 20,000 Android apps and around 4,500 on Blackberry App World).
Mplayit looked at the most popular application categories across platforms and compiled the top apps in each category for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Their analysis found a great deal of similarity in the most popular apps in the most active categories, demonstrating that despite the big differences in the number of apps available by device, for the majority of consumers, there is less and less to choose between them.
Mplayit’s app store on the Facebook platform is the first to offer mobile consumers a single destination for discovering apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Java phones.
“‘How many apps?’ is the wrong question,” said Michael Powers, CEO and founder of Mplayit.
“People just want to get the job done. It doesn’t matter if there are 50 different to-do list apps on iPhone, because Android or BlackBerry just need a couple of good ones to make consumers happy.”
Cross-platform apps did particularly well.
Evernote registered among the top three of the most popular apps in the Lists and Notes category on iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
Similarly, Pandora Radio is among the top three music apps on all three smartphone platforms.
The analysis also showed that Barcode readers have recently shot to the top of the most sought after apps on all the three leading smartphone platforms.
Currently, all of these platforms offer barcode solutions, though from different vendors.
Some platform-specific favorites held their own, however.
In the Lists and Notes category, Evernote shared its top three spot with different lesser-known competitors on each platform: Things and AwesomeNote on iPhone, ThinkingSpace and QuickList on Android, and TaskManager and SlickTasks on BlackBerry.
“To a customer, the app catalog is a key component of the smartphone experience. Mplayit’s cross-platform store on Facebook® is currently the only place they can directly compare what is available,” said Powers.
“And we crowd-source our recommendations to expose popular apps that you don’t find necessarily find in Top 20 charts.”
So consumers thinking about switching to a new smartphone can take heart.
Each smartphone catalog had good coverage in the categories that mattered most to Mplayit’s consumer audience on Facebook.
“If you’re switching to a new phone, you don’t want to give up functionality,” Powers continued.
“It’s not really necessary to match Apple app-for-app to offer a compelling mobile experience. Android and other platforms only need to offer the best and the brightest, as well as the same utility and features.”