Books now outnumber games in App Store

March 9, 2010

In what is almost certainly a surprising development to most people, even avid Apple-watchers, the number of books available in the Apple App Store has now exceeded the number of games there.

The Apple App Store has long been known for the huge number of games that are available for download, a fact which has caused the iPhone not a little reputation trouble in becoming a mobile device for business. If that reputation has rankled you, there is now reason to rejoice. The iPhone appears to be changing from a game-centric device to a book-centric device, which may be a bit more of an acceptable image in the board room. The news comes in a report by Mobclix via a Guardian article, in which the number of available books in the App Store number over 27,000 while the number of games available number approximately 24,400.

Dan Franklin, digital editor of Scottish publisher Canongate is impressed. He says, “The iPhone has always been perceived as a games-centric device, so the idea that books are outranking games is very exciting. Initially books weren’t seen as being top of the pile, but with the launch of the iBookstore imminent, Apple is now taking more notice of book submissions. With the iPad due next month, and Google looking like they’re going to launch their Google Editions, this is the key year for electronic books.” Many representatives from the book industry would agree. These books will all be viewable on the iPad tablet, a device which is being seen as a bit of a savior by the publishing industry.

The inclusion of 27,000 books in the App Store can be seen as a precursor of what will happen on the iPad when it is released next month. Many of the books currently in the App Store are free downloads, something that will not be true when the big titles from the big publishers hit the streets in iPad ““ iPhone format. But that is when the number of available books for Apple mobile devices will really start to grow. One wonders how long it will be before the number of books in the iBookstore will outnumber the number of apps in the App Store.

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