As Apple's iOS App Store approaches 10 billion total app downloads
, a new analysis of the market shows that over 60 apps -- including games -- have been downloaded, on average, for each iOS device sold thus far.
The new analysis by market intelligence firm Asymco
shows the estimated app attach rate for iOS devices increasing steadily since the App Store's debut in mid-2008, with exponential app downloads outpacing more linear new iOS device sales.
Based on a projected and rising rate of over 3 million iOS app downloads per day, Asymco estimates the total number of iTunes app downloads will surpass the total number of iTunes music sales sometime in March.
While it's hard to determine exactly how many of those apps are games, titles from the game category dominated Apple's list of top downloaded iPhone and iPod Touch apps for 2010
. Games were less a of a presence on the iPad top downloads list, but a December study suggested gaming was the second-most popular use of tablet computers overall
Asymco points out that the increasing app attach rate also increases the lock-in effect and relative switchover costs for iOS device users who might be considering moving to a competing mobile platform.
An October report found that 32 percent of iPad users hadn't downloaded a single app
, suggesting some iOS users who have downloaded hundreds of apps may be skewing the average.
That said, Asymco's data does not take into account users who have replaced older iOS devices with new ones, meaning the actual attach rate may be higher than Asymco estimates.