Useful or Not, Most iPhone Apps are Rarely Used Despite iTunes App Store Growth
Article by George Norman
On 24 Feb 2009
Apple’s App Store can boast about the fact that since its launch it recorded multimillion downloads and a record high number of apps made it to the store, but according to a study conducted by Pinch Media, company that specializes in tracking iPhone apps usage, only 20% to 30% of them are actively being used by the downloaders. Free iPhone apps score the lowest usage rating, but it seems that paying for an app does not significantly boost its usage.

“Since AppStore's launch, Pinch Media has provided developers with an analytics library to monitor app usage – unique users, sessions, usage time etc. Since AppStore's launch we've also been collecting every bit of detail possible from the App Store – rankings, price changes, you name it – and tying it back to our analytics. Our stuff’s in a few hundred applications right now – it’s been the #1 free and paid application several times each, and has been in at least ten of the top 100 free applications for a while now. With all of this data, you learn a few things,” says Pinch Media in the beginning of the 33 pages long slideshow presenting their findings (watch here).

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If you would rather not bother with reading the report, here are Pinch Media’s key findings:
- The vast majority of people that download free iPhone apps do not use them: 80% of these people simply forget about the app, while only 20% of them use the app the day after the download. That percentage drastically diminishes as time moves on; in other words, even less people use a free iPhone app two days after downloading it, and even less three days later and so on.
- iPhone apps that actually cost money, score a better usage percentage, but not considerably better. Only 30% of buyers use the app the day following the purchase, meaning that a staggering 70% of users do not bother with it, despite the fact they paid money to get it. Just as in the case of the free apps, the percentage of people actively using the app drastically diminishes after the first day.
- Only 1% of people who download for free or purchase an iPhone app actually use it on the long term. After only 20 days, the number of people actively using an app decreases to 5%.
- App usage varies according to its type: sports apps are mostly used right then and there, while entertainment apps tend to be used on the long run.
- Free apps are 6.6 times more used than paid apps.
- The number of new users increases 2.3 times once an app makes it to the top 100.



Tags: Apple, iPhone, Pinch Media, App Store, iTunes
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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