Tens of thousands of applications are available for Apple's popular iPhone and the iPod Touch but a report released on Thursday indicates that only a few are likely to attract widespread usage.
Mobile advertising platform AdMob tracked the popularity of more than 2,300 applications for the iPhone and the iPod Touch used by the more than 15 million members in its network.
AdMob said five percent, or 116, of the applications had more than 100,000 active users in May.
It said 14 percent, or 322, applications had between 10,000 to 100,000 active users while 54 percent, or 1,244, applications had less than 1,000 active users.
The average iPhone user in AdMob's network accessed four applications in May, AdMob said.
Apple's online App Store offers more than 50,000 applications and has notched up more than one billion downloads since it opened a year ago.
AdMob said the vast majority of the applications in its network were free applications and the pattern of usage may be different for paid applications.
"As is true with many other forms of media, the most popular applications generated the majority of usage by consumers," AdMob said.
It said the App Store "ranking system feeds the success of these top applications, some of which were accessed by more than one million users in May."
A study in February by Pinch Media found that fewer than five percent of iPhone users were still actively using an application a month after downloading it and that only one percent of total downloads have a long-term audience.
Games were used for longer periods than any other type of application, the study found.
Tens of thousands of applications for the iPhone have been created by independent developers, but Apple has strict control over which ones are featured in the App Store.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Thanksgiving travel woes? There's an app for that