Apple announces Top 10 iPhone App downloads of 2008

With 2008 on the way out and right around 10,000 applications behind them, Apple has released a series of lists outlining which applications scored the most downloads since the App Store’s launch back in July.

The lists are separated by whether the the application is paid or free – first as an overall look, and then by each major category (games, entertainment, utilities, social networking, and music). While the overall top applications should come as no surprise to anybody who takes an occasional glance at the iPhone’s built-in top downloads page, there are a few interesting gems hidden in the categorically separated data.

Top Paid Apps (Overall):

  1. Koi Pond
  2. Texas Hold’em
  3. Moto Chaser
  4. Crash Bandicoot: Nitro Kart 3d
  5. Super Monkey Ball
  6. Cro-Mag Rally
  7. Enigmo
  8. Pocket Guitar
  9. Recorder
  10. iBeer

Of everything on that list, I’m really only surprised Super Monkey Ball didn’t rank higher. When the app store launched, it seemed that Super Monkey Ball was the face of iPhone gaming – then again, the fact that it was one of the more expensive games at launch might have hindered sales a bit. Congrats to Pangea Software on the double-win (Enigmo, Cro-Mag Rally). Feel free to buy me a yacht.

Also of note: If you want to make buckets of money as an iPhone developer, make games.

Top 10 Free Downloads (Overall)

  1. Pandora Radio
  2. Facebook
  3. Tap Tap Revenge
  4. Shazam
  5. Labyrinth Lite Edition
  6. Remote
  7. Google Earth
  8. Lightsaber Unleashed
  9. AIM
  10. Urbanspoon

Wow – Google Earth only launched on the iPhone 2 months ago, and it has already cracked the Top 10 free downloads?

Top Paid Games:

  1. Texas Hold’em
  2. Moto Chaser
  3. Crash Bandicoot: Nitro Kart 3d
  4. Super Monkey Ball
  5. Cro-Mag Rally
  6. Enigmo
  7. Air Hockey
  8. Bejeweled 2
  9. Flick Bowling
  10. Line Rider iRide

Top Free Games:

  1. Tap Tap Revenge
  2. Labyrinth Lite Edition
  3. Sol Free Solitaire
  4. iBowl
  5. Pac-Man Lite
  6. Touch Hockey:FS5
  7. Cannon Challenge
  8. Audi A4 Driving Challenge
  9. Sudoku
  10. reMovem

It’s no shocker to see Tap Tap Revenge at the top of the list, as it has a fairly constant level of buzz surrounding it. Sudoku is all the way down at number 9? Is the trend of 2007 (and 1892) finally fading out?

Top Paid Entertainment:

  1. Koi Pond
  2. iBeer
  3. iChalky
  4. Face Melter
  5. iFish
  6. TouchScan
  7. What’s on TV?
  8. Pocket Piano
  9. Sketches
  10. OneTap Movies

The fact that “TouchScan”, a 99 cent application that “scans the mind of two people at once and compares the brain waves recorded” by way of a fake on screen fingerprint scanner, made it all the way to #6 hurts my head. A lot.

Top Free Entertainment:

  1. Remote
  2. Lightsaber Unleashed
  3. i.TV
  4. BubbleWrap
  5. Movies
  6. iDoodle 2 lite
  7. Showtimes
  8. Now Playing
  9. Scribble
  10. Crazy Pumpkin

If nothing else, this shows how much pull a niche, holiday-themed application can have. “Crazy Pumpkin”, which just puts Jack-o-lantern faces on your iPhone’s screen, managed to get enough swing from a good run of coverage around Halloween to reach the top 10.

Top Paid Utilities:

  1. Units (crossroad solutions)
  2. A Level
  3. Air Mouse
  4. Fake Calls
  5. Voice Record
  6. Clinometer
  7. Spell Check
  8. Speed Dial
  9. FileMagnet
  10. iNetwork Speed Test

Top Free Utilities

  1. Flashlight
  2. myLite Flashlight
  3. Say Who – Dialer
  4. Units (TheMacBox)
  5. Compass Free
  6. Alarm Free
  7. A Free Level
  8. Molecules
  9. Speed Test
  10. myLighter

Hm – “Units” shows up on both the free and paid Top 10 lists, although they’re two different applications. I wonder if there is any confusion on the buyer’s end here?

Top Paid Social Networking:

  1. MobileChat
  2. BeejiveIM
  3. Quip
  4. Rooms – Your Mobile Chat Client
  5. Twitterrific Premium
  6. Flutter
  7. Twittelator Pro
  8. mBoxMail
  9. Secrets
  10. hiCard – Suite

Wow – BeeJiveIM not only broke the Top 10, but lands at #2? I’m not surprised because of the quality of the application – it’s quite good, actually – but because of the price: BeeJiveIM costs 16 bucks. In a market where hoards of people complain about 99 cent apps costing too much, that BeeJive has done so well is a bit of a shocker.

Top Free Social Networking:

  1. Facebook
  2. AIM
  3. Myspace Mobile
  4. IM+ Lite
  5. Loopt
  6. Fring
  7. Palringo IM
  8. Earthscape
  9. Twitterrific
  10. Jirbo Avatar

That Facebook is beating Myspace shouldn’t be too amazing to anybody who has paid any attention over the last year or two.

Top Paid Music:

  1. PocketGuitar
  2. Drum Kit
  3. Ocarina
  4. Pianist
  5. Band
  6. Tuner Internet Radio
  7. Beat Maker
  8. Guitar Toolkit
  9. Harmonica
  10. Guitarist

Top Free Music:

  1. Pandora Radio
  2. Shazam
  3. AOL Radio
  4. Midomi
  5. Mini Piano
  6. iheart Radio
  7. MixMeister Scratch
  8. FlyCast Mobile Radio
  9. Last.FM
  10. DigiDrummer Lite

Not quite sure what to make of it, but it’s interesting to note: the vast majority (9 out of 10) of the top paid music apps are for making music, while the majority (7 out of 10) of the top free music apps are purposed for listening to music.

[Source: iTunes Link]