Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Update: the top iPhone news apps in North America

It shouldn't come as a surprise that when comparing the top iPhone news apps in the U.S., Canadian and Mexican iTunes stores language is a major determining factor when looking at the top apps. But politics seems to be a big factor, as well.
With the launch of the iPad, much of the attention has shifted to tablet development, but smartphone apps still far outpace iPad apps. Comparing iOS apps is, of course, much easier than Android apps because there is not just one centralized app store.

And while Apple now has iTunes stores for 90 different countries (not all of them include app stores), let's just look at North America.

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The top paid iPhone news app in the iTunes App Store in the U.S. is from CNN. The app will cost you $1.99, but it available for free in the Canadian app store. (But just to let you know, you can only buy apps in the store of your own country, though you can easily switch from one app store to the other within iTunes.)

In the past, many of the top news apps in the Canadian store were the same as those in the U.S. store -- but that has changes.

The Globe and Mail tops the free news apps in Canada. Right below it is the CBC Radio app -- a great app, by the way, and one that is available in the U.S. store, as well. The free version of the CNN app ranks fifth.

The paid news aggregation app, Pulse News Mini makes the top five in the U.S., Canadian and Mexico app stores., and Instapaper appears in the U.S. and Canadian top five. But those two apps are the only apps that are popular in the U.S. and Canada that also make the top five in Mexico -- language is obviously the key as Spanish language news apps dominate both the paid and free categories.

Besides language, what else differentiates the stores? Politics. Both the Drudge Report and FOX News are top apps in the U.S. but do not appear in any other list of top apps. Maybe something is lost in translation.