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Top Apple Travel Downloads

With Apple approaching 1 billion in downloaded apps, I thought it would be good time to take a look at the top 5 most popular free and paid travel apps on iTunes

1. Flight Track – this application from Mobiata is similar to Web based applications such as Flight Stats, but produced by a small mobile app vendor. – Question why doesn’t Flight Track have the top position here?

2. Tipulator – Allows you to calculate the appropriate tip for service. Question: Isn’t that essentially a calculator?

3. Where The Locals Eat – was created by the dining guide company of the same name. The popularity of this paid app reinforces the demand for local dining advise

4. iFare Finder – is a Kayak like meta-search application. The interesting aspect of iFare Finder is that it is only a mobile app. I could not even find a Website for RIV Creations the creator of iFare Finder, only a blog. Having helped a client last year create a mega-search engine, simple screen scraping will not work as a long term solution. Time will tell the quality of the engine behind iFare Finder.

5. Zagat to Go – At last a familiar brand name!

1. Google Earth – shows how Google is already dominating the mobile space

2. Urbanspoon – a slot machine that allows the user to chose a type of restaurant randomly

3. YELP – the UGC local restaurant and services

4. WiFi Finder – locate free and paid Wi-Fi networks

5. Choice Hotels Locator – At last a familiar travel brand!

So what does this all mean? Though brands such as Kayak, and Disney do appear in the top 20, a vast number of travel brands are missing. Now multiply this by 1000 and you can start to see how the explosion of app stores from Google, RIM Blackberry, T-Mobile and Nokia will further lead to missed branding opportunities unless the travel industry major players recognize that mobile downloads are here to stay and that they need to be part of every travel company’s strategy.