We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Free iPhone apps are quickly ditched

Drop-off rate for paid apps is just as bad

Just 20 percent of Apple iPhone users that download software from the iTunes app store use the app the next day, says Pinch Media.

According to research by the mobile phone analyst, even fewer user the app days and weeks after they have been downloaded. When it comes to paid applications, the return rate is only slightly better: 30 percent of people use the application the day after they buy it. The drop-off rate for paid applications is about as steep as for free applications after the first day.

Apple iPhone 3G review

Generally, just one percent of users who download an application turn into long-term users of it. Pinch has noticed some differences based on the kind of application. For example, sports applications get more use than others in the short term, while entertainment applications tend to keep users for longer than others.

Pinch has discovered, or at least confirmed, some other interesting usage trends as well. Developers have a far greater success rate once they rise to the top of the store, which Apple ranks based on popularity. Once applications hit the top 100, the number of daily new users increases by 2.3 times, Pinch said.

Also, free applications tend to get more use than those that cost. Users run free applications, on average, 6.6 times as often as paid applications, Pinch said.

The findings might surprise and disappoint developers, many of whom regard the iPhone's application ecosystem as the first real opportunity to build a business around wireless applications.

Prior to the launch of the easy-to-use App Store, few phone users ever downloaded new applications to their phones. That meant that the best way for developers to offer their applications was to convince operators to preload the applications on phones - an expensive, time-consuming and challenging proposition.

Visit Mobile Advisor for the latest mobile phone news, reviews, tips & tricks, as well as PC Advisor's Apple iPhone 3G Spotlight

Visit Broadband Advisor for the latest internet news, reviews, tips & tricks - and to take advantage of PC Advisor's unique, independent Broadband Speed Tester

Pinch Media collected data from "a few hundred" applications in the App Store that use its hosted analytics product. Applications that use the analytics offering include those that have been the number-one paid and free applications available in the store, Pinch said.

The store currently has more than 15,000 applications, and users have downloaded applications more than 500 million times.

The data from Pinch might be valuable for developers who are also considering building applications for other stores that have been planned following the success of the App Store. Stores for Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Palm Pre applications have either been announced or are already open.

See also: Apple blocks South Park iPhone app


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Why Apple shouldn't be blamed for exploitation in China and Indonesia