A Billion iPhone Apps, Mostly To Talk About The Weather?

picture-1As Apple’s App Store continues its countdown to 1 billion apps downloaded, Compete has released the results of a rather humorous study of iPhone users. Apparently, for all the bells and whistles the combination of the iPhone and the App Store offers, the most popular thing to do is look up the weather, as MediaPost highlights today.

Of those iPhone users surveyed, 39 percent stated that a weather application was one of their three most-used apps on their device. This was far ahead of any of the number two cited app, Facebook, which 25 percent of those surveyed named. By far the most popular category in the App Store when it comes to actual downloads is games, but in this survey, that category only managed third place with 20 percent. Compare that to numbers from ComScore last week which reported that a crazy 32 percent of all iPhone and iPod touches have a version of the game Tap Tap Revenge installed.

If these survey results are to be believed, a lot of people may have popular games such as TTR installed, but at the end of the day, they still go back to using the old trusty weather apps most often. And while that would show that it was smart of Apple to include a weather app in its default package of native apps that ship with the iPhone, it doesn’t seem to speak well for the hugely hyped App Store that the default weather app is what people still want to use the most. (Though, to be fair, a full 13 percent of that 39 percent, said they used The Weather Channel app, which is from the App Store.)

But should we really put any weight into these numbers from Compete? After all, the firm has proven time and time again to do a pretty mediocre job when it comes to measuring web site statistics. It’s not clear how many iPhone users were actually surveyed in the report (which isn’t out yet), so it may or may not be a good sample for such data. But one weird part of the data — at least as it’s broken down by MediaPost — is that while weather apps are all bunched together into a category, it seems to break out the Facebook app as separate from social networking apps as a whole. I mentioned Facebook was at 25% in the survey, both other apps, such as MySpace, also appeared, but oddly weren’t grouped together like weather apps and games were.

Data in February from analytics company Pinch Media suggested that that average shelf life of an iPhone app is less than 30 days. With that in mind, it makes some sense that people return to the old, trusted weather apps, which, while boring, are useful to people on a day-to-day basis. But what about the texting and email apps? Certainly, those have to be used more (though perhaps they weren’t included, as Apple is highly restrictive when it comes to those being allowed in the App Store). And what about the various Twitter apps?