The votes have been counted and the results are in. The data, provided by Distimo for May 2010, clearly shows the average number of days that applications across various categories stay at the top of the App Store rankings.
Distimo compiled their data from November 2009 to April 2010 and uncovered that paid applications in the Top Overall, Games and Business categories stay in the Top 100 for an average of 27, 39 and 59 days, respectively. On the other hand, however, free applications only remain in the Top 100 for a significantly shorter time and these are on average 19, 21 and 39 days, respectively. As with all statistics there is an exception to prove the rule and in this case it appears to be the Entertainment category, whereby free apps stay in the Top 100 for a slightly longer period of time than paid applications; 43 days compared to 38 days.
Some stand out facts :- Top 5 paid apps for the longest period of time are Doodle Jump (140 days), RedLaser (73 days) and Skee-Ball (68 days). Skee-Ball (24 days) also happens to be the paid app that has been number one for the longest period of time. The free applications that have been in the Top 5 for the longest period of time are Facebook (12 days) and Paper Toss (7 days).
A sensible explanation for all this could be that there are approximately three times as many paid apps for the iPhone in the App Store than there are free ones. By sheer weight of numbers this means that it is more likely to find a paid app than a free one but I think you’ll agree that these figures still make interesting reading.