A lot of people spend a lot of time reviewing and comparing apps, so there's no shortage of critical information to guide your purchases. But what do iPhone and iPod Touch users actually buy? Here's the leaderboard for 2009.
The bestseller list is populated by high-profile—either in name or in publisher—listings, none of which are too surprising. The list, it seems, it sorted by revenue, because there's a relatively poor showing for cheap casual games. The top six are all franchise titles that cost at least $5.
The top rated list, however, is more heartening. The fantastic Spider: The Secret of Bruce Manor tops the group, joined by a healthy selection of games from a mix of studios, large and small. Just one of the top ten is a big-name franchise title.
Again, the popularity list must be revenue-ranked, because this is some pricey stuff. Navigon and TomTom are $90 and $100 apps, respectively, and their success shows what a little name recognition, and early start, and a generally good app will get you. Free texting app TextFree, which I sorta though might be banned from the store by now, ranks high, as does QuickOffice, even though the barebones office suite costs a whole $10.
Where the top rated games were generally indie and/or iPhone-exclusive titles, the top rated apps are a bit more mainstream. You've got the requisite appearances from Smule, you've got ReelDirector—the only app that lets you do any serious video editing on your iPhone—and you've got a CBS sports app. Because people like sports, and anything associated with them! (Also: paying for them.) Oh, and, uh, Pocket God is a game.
All in all, the crowd's put together a nice little app roundup for us. I don't see any glaringly terrible apps here, and the top-rated apps even include some of our own Essential iPhone Apps. Which is vindicating! (For everyone else, obviously.)
Anyway, what about the free apps?
UPDATE: It's worth noting that these rankings only include app released in 2009. Some older apps will likely have outsold many, if not all, of the apps on these lists. —Thanks, Dave from Popcap! [iTunes Rewind]