So maybe you just got an iPhone or iPod touch, or maybe you’re going to get one very soon for the holidays. With something like 10,000 applications out there in Apple’s App Store, it’s basically impossible to know which ones to get. Sure, the most popular ones right now are clearly displayed in the store, but those leave out a lot of great ones that have been popular in the past. Luckily, Apple has just rolled out a Top Apps category in iTunes as part of its iTunes 2008 year-end section.

This section features dozens of apps broken into two groups: Free and Paid. Within these two categories, you’ll find the Top Overall apps, Top Games, Top Entertainment, Top Utilities, Top Social Networking and Top Music. It’s a very comprehensive list, and I’d guess that even old iPhone veterans like myself will find an app or two that we’ve missed along the way.

This section would be a lot more interesting if Apple gave download statistics for each app. We know that Koi Pond was the top selling paid app this year, but just how many times was it downloaded? And how does that compare to the top free app, Pandora Radio?

Also, considering that games are such a large percentage of the App Store, it might make sense to make the Top Games section a little larger than the others. I already have just about all of the top 10 free and paid games, but if it showed the top 15 or 20, I may not have some of those.

Expect all the apps shown on this page to see massive jumps in downloads. That, in turn, may make quite a few other iPhone app developers rush their 2009 apps out the door to have the best chance of making this list next year.

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