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Which Are The Most Downloaded Mobile Apps?

July 25, 2011

Mobile_Application_Download

Have you ever wondered about the secret life of mobile apps? Which ones are downloaded most? How many of each platform ever enter the top download charts? Is there a clear winner?

In this brief article we share some statistics and opinions in an attempt to highlight a few important points. A recent study by mobile app research company Distimo provides yet another look at the relationship between Android and Apple, and the potential each one offers to businesses.

Most Android Apps are Never Downloaded

The study confirms once again that it is relatively hard to make money from Android applications if you rely on a one-off installation fee. Very few apps from the Android Market are ever downloaded, with 20% of free and 80% of paid apps never getting the chance to grace anyone’s device.

As many as 52% of all free Android apps are downloaded less than 1,000 times.

The report shows only 5,6% of all free Android applications being downloaded between 50,000 and 500,000 times, with a meager 1% of those reaching over 500,000 downloads.

The situation does not look much brighter for paid Android apps. Only 0,1% of paid applications in the store have seen more than 50,000 downloads, and only about 5% were downloaded between 1,000 and 50,000 times.

Apple Apps Make More Money

Let’s have a look at some Apple numbers. The Distimo study reveals that 6 paid iPhone apps enjoyed 500,000 downloads just in the US store during the months of March and April only. Compare this with only 2 paid Android apps ever reaching 500,000 total downloads, worldwide, for the entire existence of the Android Market.

If we take a closer look at game apps for example, we find that 10 iOS games were downloaded over 250,000 times from the US store in the same two-month study period, while only 5 Android games ever saw 250,000 downloads, in total, worldwide, for the lifetime of the Android Market.

Factors Improving the Odds for Android

The good news is that Google constantly strives to level the playing ground by adding ways to increase the profitability of its platform, apps and Android app developers. A serious achievement in this direction has been the in-app and direct carrier billing added recently.

Another positive factor is the vast range of Android device models and prices which represent an impressively sized market. It is good to keep in mind the fact that these buyers are less likely to pay for an app and more likely to opt for a freebie.

Why Apple is a Good Choice

iPhone users tend to be older and yield higher earning power than the standard Android user, a market observation confirmed once again in a research we performed recently. Statistics show that iPhone users keep more downloaded apps on their device, and applications downloaded on the iOS platform are used more regularly in comparison to Android, where many apps are never launched a second time.

Some Words of Advise

So how should you read all these figures? Your target market and the type of your application are interdependend and you must be certain the two are a match. Whether you are releasing an app for productivity, entertainment, managing money, or communication ensure the buyers you target are using the device and platform you plan to develop for.

If you start with Android app development consider another way of monetizing on your app, for example by including advertisments. Think of releasing two versions, a free version with ads and a paid one without. When developing an iPhone application consider the fact that if your app becomes popular some ROI is possible with the one-off download fee. Both productivity and entertainment apps enjoy interest from iOS users, and the market is deemed affluent. So do your research, contact a reputable mobile application development company and get going.

Share with us your experience with mobile applications. How many have you downloaded, which of those are still on your phone and which few do you use regularly?

Author: Maria Williamson

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