A day before the official launch of the iPad, Apple has begun offering hundreds of apps for its new tablet, from a free Netflix download and a third-party Twitter platform to "Need for Speed Shift," a car-racing video game currently selling for $14.99. Many of the iPad apps are simply "iPad optimized" versions of apps already available for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.
But the App Store also features a slew of programs designed exclusively for the iPad. Among them: "Fairies Fly," an $8 app from Disney; "Gilt," a free shopping application; and a high-resolution football game from Gameloft. There's even an application called "Ocean Blue," which offers "your very own luxury view of the ocean." Price tag? 10 bucks.
The question now is how consumers and developers will respond to the wealth of options offered up by Apple's newest device. On the iPhone, for instance, there are more than 27,000 book apps currently available – making books the biggest category of iPhone apps. By comparison, there are approximately 25,000 games on Apple's iTunes App Store.
Many analysts have seen the iPad, with its high-res touchscreen and motion-sensing controls, as a natural gaming device. And there is evidence that app designers feel the same way: the analytics firm Flurry recently reported that 44 percent of the apps tested for the Apple iPad are video games.
But from where we're standing, publishers are going to have trim down the prices on some of the iPad downloads if they really hopes to bolster app sales.
Over at CNET, Lance Whitney notes that developers have complained that it costs a lot more to create an app for the iPad than it did to create an app for the iPhone or iPod Touch. Thus the jacked-up prices on games such as the $15 "Need for Speed Shift," which was created by gaming giant EA.
"Depending on the success of the iPad, those initial higher prices on key apps might be just be a temporary trend," Whitney writes. "If iPad sales do take off, some app developers are expected to reduce their costs in a bid to win over a growing customer base."
Over to you. Are you impressed by the variety offered up at the Apple App Store? And how much is too much for an iPad app? Drop us a line in the comments section.