When smartphone OS makers big-up their platform they often talk about the number of apps available in their online app stores/markets. This big juicy headline figure is used to impress consumers regarding the usefulness and flexibility of the particular smart connected device OS. A German mobile analytics company called Adeven claims that 400,000 of Apple’s 650,000 iOS apps never get downloaded because the only way users have to discover apps is through top lists.
The app store headline figures
- Apple iOS: 650,000
- Android: 500,000
- Symbian: 110,000
- Windows Phone: 100,000
- BlackBerry: 99,000
Adeven have measured the downloads of iOS apps using their new free app popularity statistics tool Apptrace. Christian Henschel, Adeven CEO told website Gigaom “The reality is there are only a couple of thousand apps that really make some kind of downloads. This is based on Apple’s closed system - it’s tough to discover those kinds of apps. You don’t have proper search, so the only way to discover new apps is through the top listing.” He went on to explain the difficulties of getting your application noticed in the iOS App Store “If you’re not on those lists, it’s not sure that you’re being discovered by anyone else. The top 25 tend to be the same companies who spend millions of dollars to get to the top of those lists. If you’re an independent, small app publisher, then it’s really tough to be discovered.”
Because of the huge amount of apps in the App Store app discovery is a problem with the big companies getting stronger and dominating top lists. In February this year Apple acquired Chomp, an App Store search and discovery platform, so hopefully new and innovative apps from smaller players will be able to get a chance to make money from their iOS apps.
The Adeven report says that there are perhaps too many apps covering the same functions within the App Store, for example there are nearly 1,900 torch/flashlight apps… The Ecommerce Times calls the iOS App Store “shameful, shabby and sorry” and looking for an app is an exercise in luck and patience. Looking at the Android OS, I’ve just done a search on the Google Play Store and got 6,204 results in a search for “flashlight app”. That demonstrates a lot of replication of functionality but on the other hand a lot of choice! The highlighting of the number of apps available on the various mobile OS platforms might be good for promotional headlines but just like too much information can be a hindrance in life/business too many apps may be a hindrance to your smartphone activities.