Research firm confirms obvious data about app store downloads

Research firm confirms obvious data about app store downloads
We know that all of you love to have unnecessary statistics, but unfortunately the latest research into smartphone app stores by analyst firm research2guidance costs €1,290.00, so we can only afford to bring you some of the more basic stats that the firm found. That said, the statistics for Q2 2011 are out and the research firm has concluded that the average app has a much higher chance of getting downloaded on a "non-hyped" platform like WP7 or Ovi. 

The research even goes as far as to say that Android and iOS app stores are "over-hyped", which seems a bit misleading. Of course WP7 and Ovi generate more downloads per app because there are far fewer apps in those stores. Recent numbers have the Windows Phone Marketplace at somewhere around 30,000 apps, and Nokia's Ovi app store for Symbian has fewer than 40,000 apps. Compare that to somewhere over 400,000 for Apple's App Store, and the Android Market is likely somewhere around 300,000 apps (the only official numbers say 250,000 as of July, so over 300,000 by now seems a reasonable assumption.) 

We wouldn't really say that the App Store or Android Market are "over-hyped", it's just a matter of too many apps overall. More interesting than the difference between WP7, Ovi and the rest is the difference in the big players. One of the most persistent complaints about the Android Market has been that app discovery is too difficult, and there isn't enough turnover in featured apps, so developers don't get as high visibility as in Apple's App Store. But, the numbers show that the Android Market is only 5% behind the average downloads per app compared to Apple. Given the absurd amount of junk in the Android Market (which we're hoping would have fewer average downloads, therefore bringing down the overall average), there's a good chance that quality apps on Android are downloaded at the same rate as those on iOS. 

Still, if you're an indie developer, it may not be such a bad idea to port your app to WP7, Symbian or BlackBerry.



1. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i get the nokia since they have updated symbian recently, and wp7 for obvious purposes, but rimm?

3. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Again, it's just a matter of having fewer apps in the market. BB apps may be overpriced, and the platform as a whole may be slipping, but there are still a lot of BB users, and not so many apps.

7. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

very true, but I just didnt think bb users were the download app type-- I know the people in my family who have bbs certainly aren't.. but i could be wrong and maybe blackberry is doing a somewhat decent job marketing their app world i think its called

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

for the average user, there is next to nothing in the blackberry market. For the business user or someone that uses blackberry's organizing functions, there is actually quite a bit in the market.. and yea, its over priced as all hell.

2. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Love the article, Michael. You strike again. I agree that there are a ton of s**t apps on Android Market, but there are just as many good ones, and it's also pretty much a free market model. It provides you with the ability to choose what you want to download rather than Apple arbitrarily saying "ahahaha, f**k you, we know what you want!" and denying apps from appearing on the App Store.

4. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Oh yeah, the overall quality of apps on Android has increased a huge amount in just the last year or two, but there is still tons of spam, clones, and copyright infringement. The Apple App Store approval process has its good and bad points. It can seem arbitrary at times, and the wait can be long, but the amount of crap is far lower, and the overall UI quality tends to be better on iOS.

8. ilia1986 unregistered

I really don't think that finding good apps in Android is a problem. There are countless sites with countless "Top apps of the week\month\year\all time" as well as countless YouTube videos for that as well. And - Android get's the "scan the bar-code => downloads app" thingy as well.

5. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

P.S. I love how I seem to always be "striking again" every time I write an article. It makes me feel like an outlaw journalist. I may have to change my name to Spider Jerusalem.

6. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Hmm, or you could be the last supercommando of the rational army, destined to kick ass and chew bubble gum. Until you're out of bubble gum. I can't disagree that Apple did a great job with its app store, and some parts of the Market UI do bug me (like how it's now suddenly harder to find any lesser downloaded apps). I guess I just like the idea of the free market.

9. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Oh yeah, I definitely prefer Android's instant submission Market. I just wish Google would do a bit more to kill junk. Even just beefing up the crowd sourcing by making the tools easier and more apparent for marking apps as spam.

14. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

The "new" market style is getting much closer to a better "app finding" system. Like anything, you take the good with the bad. The apps from the last year are completely eclipsing all the apps from before. I used to just get all the free apps, but now I find myself paying for more and more as I feel the quality is worth the price tag now. Hopefully with all the recent changes and soon hardware optimization of ICS, it will entice the last few major developers that have been holding on to iOS like Epic and Id to come on over to the green side.

16. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yes, if Google did a preliminary virus scan on apps before they were allowed on the market, that would be fantastic. Otherwise I also prefer their model. Though it still bugs me that they won't show any more than the first 20 apps in search results, especially when there's like 5000 results overall.

13. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

which reminds me, sniggs, did you ever apply for that PA job? and why not!? :)

15. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Can I PM you about that one? My email is on my profile.

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

go for it.

19. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I sent you a G-talk invite.

20. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Dang it I was interested in that to. By the way I agree michael is a great writer very neutral.

10. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Michael, do you have any idea if that samsungapps on the statistics of average daily downloads per app is for the bada apps that samsungapps has, or is it for the Android apps on samsunapps ?

11. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

Unfortunately, your analysis misses a key point. Average profitability per app is also supported by network billing capabilities. Nokia OVI store benefits from the most network billing arrangements across the globe. I assume this analysis was not based solely on US statistics. As for the OVI store app population, I recall the number is over 50,000, not 40,000. Even more interesting is that the Qt development framework is being deployed across the S40 device base. At about 100,000 Million devices sold per quarter, this is contributing to a significant growth in OVI store downloads. Last month it had exceed 9Mio downloads per day.

17. bluechrism unregistered

Two observations which are big wins for Ovi and WP7 here: Ovi - NOkia has huge numbers of oprator billing connections around the wold, which makes it easier and quicker for users to download apps that need to be paid for (and pay for them when their monthly bill comes around) . Apps on WP7 have a try before you buy policy, seemingly on almost anything. This means you can try the app and see if it's worth those $s before actually buying them making apps with a price tag less risky, and therefore consumers are more likely to be willing to pay for them. If want to make money on an app, especially as a small developer, these two things alone stand out as good reasons to target the platform. All this means you can scrap ad funded apps and feel OK about charging a $ or two (your app still has to be good though). One of the most popular apps on the Ovi store (seen as a must by many Symbian users) is Gravity, which costs $9.99 - What is this super app that's a must have and people are willing to pay that much for - It's a twitter client, and yes, there are free alternatives around (Nokia Social, Twimgo for example). Also worth noting that both platforms are more popular in western europe than in the USA (Yes WP7 is more popular overseas than in MS backyard), and Nokia has a huge worldwide footprint, so support a few languages in your app and remember to check systems for wights and measures used in countries that speak those languages, and you may well get a ton of downloads. The Ovi store incorporates apps for Symbian 3, Symbian S60, Series 40, Maemo and (soon) MeeGo Harmattan, Java, and supposedly even some WP7 apps (part of Nokia agreement with MS suggested this) so it's a very broad range of apps, but featured apps in the ovi store when you look it up from your phone will be ones that can work on your phone. Out of that 40,000, a smaller portion will be compatible with each device, which gives developers even more visibility, and likely even more if you write an app and support several languages.

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