Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Apps

The other day we reported that Apple-watchers have taken to calling the imminent tablet The Unicorn because of all the magical properties being attributed to it – and because, of course, no one has seen it. If only there were a fly on the wall of Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, a fly with a particularly sensitive transmitter…

In fact we have one. It’s a company called Flurry Analytics. Flurry has developed tools that gather from app developers information about applications they are working on. Jenna Wortham, writing about Flurry in the New York Times, reports that “Flurry can generate reports about the location of an application’s users, for example, or how long it took a user to complete a game level.

It turns out that Flurry picked up some feedback from about 50 devices on or around the Cupertino campus and came to some conclusions about what we’re going to find under the hood of Apple’s tablet when we finally get our hands on one for a test drive.

Check Flurry’s chart below and you’ll see that the top three apps downloaded from Cupertino are for games, entertainment and news/books, followed by lifestyle, utilities, music, photography, travel, finance, social networking, weather and miscellaneous.

That games and entertainment are the # 1 and #2 apps should not surprise us, especially when one considers that the tablet’s larger screen will enable more than one user to play games on it. But the third one, news and books, raises an eyebrow in view of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s declaration that nobody reads anymore. It sounds as if people are going to be reading newspapers and illustrated books big time on the iSlate, Unicorn or whatever it’s called.

For more speculations on the Apple tablet, read Jenna Wortham’s A Playland for Apps in a Tablet World. The speculation should end later today when Apple’s formal announcement puts us all out of our misery. But if that Flurry fly on the wall of Apple’s lab is transmitting accurate information, Apple’s announcement should be anticlimactic.

Richard Curtis

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