Apple has posted the top-20 paid and free iPhone apps that netted the most downloads since the App Store's launch in July.
The list includes games, social networking tools, everyday utilities (e.g. weather and movie listings), novelty apps and musical instruments.
A combination of luck and clever marketing enabled developers to climb to the top. Among the top free apps is Tap Tap Revenge, a rhythm game that has singlehandedly created a new distribution channel for music, enabling artists to promote their tunes and gain exposure.
Another game, iShoot, sits on the list of top paid apps. The game earned its developer Ethan Nicholas $600,000 in a single month. Recently, Nicholas told Wired.com he has surpassed the $800,000 mark. To boost sales, Nicholas developed a free version of the game — iShoot Lite — and used it to promote the paid version. The strategy worked: In January, users downloaded the free version 2.4 million times, which led 320,000 satisfied iShoot Lite players to pay for iShoot.
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