Apple's AppStore Surpasses 25,000 Apps

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According to mobile analytics firm Mobclix, Apple's AppStore offered 27,131 mobile applications as of Monday morning, a sign that the AppStore is growing at a rapid clip. In December, the AppStore surpassed 10,000 available applications and had reached more than 300 million applications downloaded less than five months after it launched,

The number of applications puts the AppStore above and beyond the competition. The closest second is Microsoft's Windows Mobile, which analysts have estimated boasts about 20,000 applications available for download.

According to Mobclix, 77.3 percent of AppStore applications are paid -- the remainder are free applications.

Not surprising, mobile games make up the bulk of available applications from Apple. Games represent 23.1 percent or 6,276 titles available. Among the top remaining applications are a mix of entertainment applications, 13.6 percent; books, 9 percent; utilities, 8.5 percent, and education applications, 7 percent. News, weather and medical applications are the least popular, making up roughly 1 percent or less of applications available.

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Apple's AppStore has made mobile applications commonplace. Last week, research firm Global Intelligence Alliance Group (GIA) issued a report indicating that the AppStore is "miles ahead" of its chief rivals in the application marketplace space, including Ovi by Nokia and the Android Market from Google Android, and the Open Handset Alliance.

GIA's report ranked application stores along five parameters: time to market, the ability to attract developers, the rate of device adoption, the efficiency of the interface and user experience, and having a critical mass of attractive applications. Apple won out in several categories -- timeliness, number, variety and appeal of the applications available for users to download to their smartphones and mobile devices.

The AppStore's stunning growth has spurred others, such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Palm, to launch new application stores in hopes of capitalizing on the mobile application craze.

This month, RIM is expected to officially unveil BlackBerry App World, its response to the AppStore. Like the AppStore, BlackBerry App World is an area where BlackBerry smartphone users can buy and download applications and a platform for application developers to submit their creations for inclusion.