Downloads: 1 million (in first week)
Average Rating: 3/5
How they profit? By allowing users to access Facebook on-the-go, mild users are becoming frequent users, and frequent users are becoming uber users. In other words, the overall traffic increases, and to an ad-based site like Facebook, traffic is key. Furthermore, Facebook is becoming the dominant repository for your online personality.
Downloads: 350,000 (in first week)
Average Rating: 4.5/5
How they profit? Pandora is an ad-based site, and allowing a mobile client spreads the name and brings much new traffic to their www.pandora.com web site, which unlike the iPhone app, has ads on it. Also, with some carriers, (not AT&T), Pandora is a paid subscription service.
Downloads: 100,000 (in first week)
Average Rating: 3/5
How they profit? Loopt is currently available for many phones on the Sprint, Verizon, Boost Mobile, AT&T, Nextel, and T-Mobile wireless networks. While the app is currently free and has no ads, it is undoubtable that at some point Loopt will become an ad-based service. Specifically, Loopt has the ability to bring location-based advertising (the best king of advertising) directly to the consumer, perhaps directly on the map. Whether the current Loopt team is hoping to get bought out YouTube style or are planning to implement the advertisements on their own is a coin flip. However, we do know one thing: they’ve already gotten $5M in funding from Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates.
Although Facebook’s App Store success comes as no surprise, nobody expected Pandora and Loopt to be in the top 3. Pandora’s success could be attributed to it’s usefulness. Streaming full songs for free on your mobile device based on your artist/song preference is simply amazing. Throw in 3G internet and stylish album art displays, and you’ve got the perfect app. Loopt, although it got much publicity by being featured at the WWDC, could attribute it’s success to it’s addictive and voyeuristic nature. You can see where your friends are at all times. This isn’t just a cool geolocation app, this is unbelievably useful. With an extremely attractive and easy-to-use user interface, Loopt pushes the iPhone’s functionality to the maximum.
Unfortunately, great apps are a rare find in the App Store.