new data from Skyhook, there are now over 6,000 location-based iPhone apps, 900 Android apps and 300 BlackBerry apps. Skyhook, the company that allows non-GPS enabled devices to triangulate locations by using nearby WiFi signals, also found that only a small number of these location-based apps are currently available across the three major app stores. There are currently only 43 cross-platform location apps.We are still in the early days of location-based apps, but according to
Social networking and lifestyle apps make up the majority of these cross-platform apps, though in general, most location-based apps are travel apps, followed by social networking services and sports and fitness apps.
Skyhook's report also highlights the differences in how app developers price their apps in different stores. Wikango, for example, is free for iPhone users, while the Android app costs $14.73 and the BlackBerry app is $19.99. Even though the iPhone platform has a reputation for driving the price of apps down, about 75% of all location-aware apps in the App Store are paid apps. On the BlackBerry platform, half of the apps are paid apps while less than 20% of the location apps on Android are paid apps.
It's interesting to see that such a small number of apps are currently available across the major platforms. Chances are, though, that a lot of these apps come from smaller development shops that simply don't have the resources to port their apps to every platform. As the market for location-aware apps matures, we will surely see that a lot of the more successful players will offer cross-platforms apps. Until then, the iPhone is the natural proving ground for these apps, especially given that it has the largest developer and user community at this point.