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Apple Gets Location Fever Too In The App Store

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SXSW Interactive is now over. While a clear winner in the “Location War” has yet to be determined, the truth is that many of the location-based services won, as all of them got a huge amount of exposure over the past week. And look for that trend to continue in a big way, as Apple is now highlighting several of them in the App Store.

As you can see in the images in this post, Apple is highlighting five of the key location players both in the App Store on iTunes, as well as on the App Store on the iPhone itself. On the iTunes version, the apps have their own area right below the “New & Noteworthy” area. On the iPhone, the five apps takes up the top five slots of the “What’s Hot” area. Simply put: This promotion is huge.

So what are the five apps? The names should be familiar to you because we’ve covered each very recently. Foursquare (our coverage), Gowalla (our coverage), Loopt (our coverage), Whrrl 3 (our coverage), and MyTown (our coverage). I’d like to think Apple picked these guys to feature after reading TechCrunch, but who knows what goes on behind the doors of the secretive company.

As any app developer will tell you, having your app featured can make or break it. Even the two most-hyped players, Foursquare and Gowalla (the two key players in the most recent Location War), stand to benefit from Apple’s ability to reach all kinds of different audiences with the App Store. Foursquare announced earlier that it had gained 100,000 new users in just the past 10 days — that type of growth may actually continue as long as Apple keeps featuring the app.

The other three, have all benefited in the past from previous Apple promotions. Notably, this helped MyTown surpass both Foursquare and Gowalla in size in under a month after its launch.

Game on, says Apple.

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