Mobile users are quick to discard iPhone apps, with just 30% of buyers using them the day after buying and downloading them from Apple's App Store, according to a new survey.

The drop-off rate is even higher for free apps, with just around 20% using them the day after download, and less then 5% 30 days later, with games apps the most durable category.

Pinch Media has revealed these figures after studying 30m downloads of iPhone apps. Its slideshow presentation 'AppStore Secrets' is available to view here.

Paid apps usage over time

With more than 20,000 apps available to iPhone users, many of which are free, the drop off in usage is not so surprising. It takes a well designed and useful app to keep users interested.

I've downloaded many more apps then I've used regularly and it's only useful and entertaining apps like, Twitterific, Shazam and Yelp that have me using them on a regular basis.

These stats on iPhone app use have consequences for both developers and advertisers; the survey recommends that most developers charge up front for apps to guarantee an income as the drop off in usage means that using a free, ad-supported model is risky.

For advertisers, the study concludes that less than 5% of iPhone apps are high performers with continued usage and are thus suitable for advertising.

Graham Charlton

Published 25 February, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (2)


John Smith

The information you provided at the very beginning of the post is really very surprising. When the i phone was launched in the market, it came to our attention due to its attractive features like- storage capacity andgames apps. But if the attractiveness starts going down gradually after buying it, then it is really a shocking matter. In your post, the graph has played a very important part to understand the whole thing.

over 9 years ago


Ana Aquino

Interesting stats, and I'm not surprised. I find that many apps outwear their usefulness within hours. The real challenge is creating something that not only appears novel at first glance but can be remembered as need-fulfilling after the fact. This is not only the case for paid applications but free ones as well; for example, the zippo lighter app is cool for a bit, then the cheap fun of quickly wears off. Ditto most of the movies apps I've found, since it's easier to simply look up showtimes in google. I'd say the only apps in my iPhone with any longevity have been Yelp (always great to know what I'm getting my stomach into) and Taxi Magic, which can book/track cabs in most major metro areas. I should point out that both of these are of particular relevance to me since I travel a lot on business, but I could see even using these two in my home town. I think the only way to transcend the curve is to fulfill a real need.

over 9 years ago

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