This is kind of a no-brainer once you actually think about it, but according to Mobclix, a mobile device advertising agency, the number of eBooks available on the App Store has surpassed the number of games for the first time ever, with 27,000 eBook apps to 25,400 games.
The reason here is pretty simple: there’s little barrier to entry in releasing an eBook app. All you do is grab a public domain title, wrap it in a remedial interface, slap a $0.99 price on it and hope for the best. Once you’ve programmed the wrapper, you can pump out eBook titles like this quickly and indefinitely, making it an easy moneymaker for more unscrupulous App Devs. Games, on the other hand, require you to have more advanced programming, artistic and design ideas.
For me, the most interesting aspect to this data is what it means for the iPad. Apple wants you to do all of your eBook reading in the iBooks app, but companies like Penguin are already talking about doing a lot of their more interesting work in app form. The eBook glut on the App Store can’t be something Apple wants to encourage to continue when the iPad comes around, but major publishers are doing the same thing.
My guess is we’ll start seeing a purge of crap eBook apps shortly after the iPad’s release. I’m okay with that… as long as they don’t touch my beloved Stanza.