Managed to snag yourself a new iPhone 5s, iPad Air or iPad Mini with Retina Display as a holiday gift? Congratulations! Apple’s (AAPL) iOS mobile devices are top-notch. And while Google’s (GOOG) Android wins in terms of market share and Google Play is now the world’s largest app store, software developers know that Apple store apps make money.
Although Android devices downloaded 75% of all apps in the most recent quarter, Apple apps collected more than half of all app revenue. That’s because independent developers and big software publishers like Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision (ATVI) still tend to release apps on iTunes first before offering a version on Google Play. Even though there are fewer iOS users out there, iPhone and iPad users aren’t as fragmented a market as Android (where there are thousands of different devices from dozens of manufacturers).
But more revenue means that, while publishers may still offer free Apple apps, there are also a lot that cost money.
The good news for you is that iOS publishers traditionally hold an app sale during the holidays, so you can fill your new iPhone 5s or iPad Air with the coolest apps at big savings — like the popular Angry Birds Star Wars II, for a limited time being offered among the free Apple apps.
There are thousands of reduced price offerings in the Apple app store right now, but here is our list of a few top apps that are discounted … and perfect for your new AAPL device.
Discounted Apple Appls – NBA 2K14
Take Two Interactive’s (TTWO) 2K Sports releases are extremely popular Apple apps. In fact, its NBA basketball franchise in particular is known for killer graphics and realistic play, and is one of the coolest iPhone apps and iPad apps you can snag.
As an officially sanctioned title, you can play as your favorite NBA team and player. Regularly priced at $7.99 (which is fairly expensive compared to other iPhone apps), NBA 2K14 is discounted to $2.99 during 2K Sports’ holiday app sale.
Discounted Apple Apps – Tweetbot 3
Tweetbot 3 is one of the most popular Twitter (TWTR) apps for iPhone and iPod Touch. But when the new version arrived to take advantage of iOS 7’s new interface, there was grumbling because Tweetbot 3 was a full-priced app, not a free Apple apps update.
However, publisher Tapbots is knocking 60% off the price of Tweetbot 3, offering it at a holiday app sale discount of just $1.99.
Discounted Apple Apps – Lego the Lord of the Rings
Here’s one of the key problems facing Nintendo (NTDOY) and Sony (SNE) in the portable game market: Lego Lord of the Rings goes for $19.99 for Nintendo’s 3DS but publisher Warner Brothers (TWX) offers the title — along with many other premium Apple apps — for just $4.99 in the iTunes store.
And that iOS app version can be played by everyone in the house with an Apple iPhone or iPad, not just the person with a cartridge.
To make things worse (for Nintendo), Warner Brothers is one of the publishers that participate in the holiday app sale. Lego Lord of the Rings joins the ranks of discounted Apple apps, going for just $2.99.
Discounted Apple Apps – Scanner Pro
Thanks to the high-resolution camera built in to your iPad Mini with Retina Display, iPhone 5s or other iOS device, you have everything you need for a portable document scanner — perfect for scanning receipts, reports, photos and documents. Well, almost everything. Snapping a photo seldom turns out that well.
Enter Scanner Pro, one of the most popular business apps for iPhone. This app takes that snapshot and optimizes it, removing shadows, straightening it, sharpening text and then saving it all as an easy to e-mail or print PDF. Scanner Pro scores 4.5 stars with nearly 8,000 ratings on iTunes and it’s reduced by 50% to $2.99 during publisher Readdle’s holiday app sale.
It’s one of the coolest Apple apps out there … and one of the most practical.
App Sale – Dead Space
Finally, we have an offering from Electronic Arts, one of the early supporters of Apple’s app store and publisher of one of the most popular free Apple apps in The Simpsons: Tapped Out.
EA is offering all of its best-selling iOS games for just 99 cents in an app sale that’s tough to beat.
Among the titles available is Dead Space — a 2011 “Mobile Game of the Year” winner and one of the top Apple apps. It combines cinematic horror with high quality graphics and first person shooter gameplay.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.