Early iPad app downloads dominated by media offerings
The first day of public iPad use showed strong consumer interest in content-related apps for the tablet device. Among the top 10 free downloads were apps for iBooks, Netflix, ABC Player, Weatherbug, Weather Channel, The Wall Street Journal, NYT Editors' Choice and NPR. In contrast, among the current top 10 apps for the iPhone, eight were game or entertainment related.
Among paid iPad apps, only one media offering made the grade: Time Magazine's April 12 issue (on Steve Jobs and the iPad), which sells for $4.99. On the iPhone, the only comparison is the recently price-reduced WolframAlpha app which came in at number two, though it is a reference tool, not a news app.
Due in part to the size of the screen and engaging touch interface, the iPad is considered by many to be more of a content consumption platform than the typical laptop or netbook device. Publishers will continue to watch these best-seller lists to see if that early assumption bears out as more apps are produced for the iPad and more consumers get the device in their hands.
These early gauges of consumer preference are skewed by the fact that many big app developers did not have early access to iPads for testing and will be releasing their projects over the coming weeks and months.
A working list of journalism-related iPad apps currently available in the iTunes store is below. We will be updating this list as new publishers are added to the iPad.