Several months ago, we embarked on a project to find the most compelling investment opportunities in mobile business productivity apps.  We wanted to know which type of apps were most popular and why? How was the iPad influencing app adoption? What was the average price for an app and who was creating them?

With over 12,800 business and productivity apps on iOS alone, there was a lot of data to mine.  We worked with University Venture Fund to analyze 12 million data points over a 6-month period from January to June 2012.  We gauged an app’s persistence by the percentage of time spent on the top 400 list during the period analyzed.

While the utility tools category encompassed a vast majority of business and productivity apps out there, remote access tools had the greatest staying power – despite being one of the most expensive.  What’s more surprising is that only 34% of business and productivity apps cost money. This led us to the conclusion that the focus of business and productivity apps is to bring a user back to a web-based product.

*Special thanks to Peter Harris and the students at the University Fund for all of their hard work and great insights.