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Apple App Downloads Dive 30% in March

The decline in monthly downloads occurred in the same month that Apple celebrated jumping the 25 billion mark for App Store downloads.

Downloads from the Apple's App Store dove by 30 percent in March, according to Fiksu, maker of a mobile marketing platform for apps.

Based on an analysis of more than 21 billion app launches, in-app purchases, and registrations, the company reported that daily downloads of the top 200 free iPhone apps in the United States slipped by nearly two million in March, compared to the previous month, to 4.45 million from 6.35 million.

The decline occurred in the same month that Apple celebrated jumping the 25 billion mark in downloads at the store. Fiksu's figures do not include iPad-only apps, but do count apps that run on both iOS platforms.

App Store Download Trends

According to Fiksu, the slide in downloads was predictable. Downloads typically surge after the introduction of a new iPhone model. Apple introduced its latest iPhone, the 4S, last October and the download slip in March signaled a return to normality at the App Store, Fiksu reasons.

"March's dramatic decline in iPhone app downloads returned app store competition to levels similar to those before the iPhone 4S launch last October," the market analyst says. "As we moved out of this period of increased download activity and with no other events in March to spark discovery. the March download dip was expected."

In addition to the post 4S hangover, Fiksu notes, the download dip may have been augmented by policy changes at the App Store. Those changes discourage app marketers from engaging in robotic install tactics for their wares.

Fiksu also reports that the cost to developers to obtain loyal users declined slightly from the previous month, to $1.30 from $1.31. Fiksu defines a loyal customer as one who opens an app three times or more. The cost of loyal users for iPhone apps hit their lowest point in the last eight months in January, when they were $1.14 per user.

Loyal Users by Month

Although iPhone users are considered some of the most loyal in the industry, Fiksu reported last year that Android app users are twice as likely as an iPhone user to open an app ten times or more. 

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.


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