IPhone Apps: Buy ‘Em, Leave ‘Em

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by Franz Bicar

IPhone apps may be very popular and growing very fast, but is it the most used? Apparently not. At least that is the conclusion from data collected by Pinch Media, a company that helps developers track the use of their iPhone applications.

Pinch found that of the users who download free applications from the App Store, only 20 percent use the app the next day, and far fewer do as the days pass. For paid applications, 30 percent of people use the application the day after they buy it. The drop-off rate for paid applications is about as steep as for free applications after the first day.

Studies further concluded that 1 percent of users who download an application turn into long-term users of it and free applications tend to get more use than those that cost. Users run free applications, on average, 6.6 times as often as paid applications.

The findings might surprise and disappoint developers, many of whom regard the iPhone’s application ecosystem as the first real opportunity to build a business around wireless applications.

The data from Pinch might be valuable for developers who are also considering building applications for other stores that have been planned following the success of the App Store. Stores for Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Palm Pre applications have either been announced or are already open.



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