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Apple's App Store sees sales surge, report says

The number of applications downloaded by iOS users rose 61 percent, while the average selling price per app rose 14 percent, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Consumers are downloading more apps--and spending more for each one--for their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

Apple, Inc.

That's the conclusion of Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. CNN Money, citing Munster's report, said that iOS device owners will download 83 applications this year, compared with 51 a year ago, a 61 percent increase. More importantly for Apple and the app developer, consumers will spend on average $1.44 per application, a 14 percent increase from a year ago.

Mobile games are playing a key role in that surge. NPD Group said in a report today that total sales for video game hardware, software and accessories rose 1.5 percent, largely due to increased spending on mobile games and other downloadable content.

Apple's advantage continues to be the sheer number of applications available to its customers. Apple's App Store has more than 425,000 applications, compared with 200,000 available to the Android Market. In May, Google said it crossed the 4.5 billion downloaded application mark. Last week, Apple said it crossed the 15 billion threshold.

Still, many of the downloads come from free applications. Munster said 82 percent of the apps in the store are free. The rise in spending on apps is largely due to the more expensive programs available for the iPad.

Related stories:
• Apple App Store hits 15 billion downloads
• Video game spending ticks up in the first quarter, NPD says
• Apple targets GetJar for using 'App Store' name
• ZDNet: Apple's App Store economics--average paid app sale price goes for $1.44