Mobile app downloads surge 33% after iPhone 5 release

Numbers could be even better in November after successful shopping season

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 30, 2012
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2c13

People love apps. They just make life so convienient, don’t they? There are the apps that are really important, like the ones showing where people could evacuate to during Hurricane Sandy. There are the fun ones, like Angry Birds Star Wars, which is awesome by the way. And then there are the ridiculous ones, like the app that lets you pretend to pour a beer.

App downloads were up 33% in October, mobile app user acquisition platform Fiksu said in a report Friday.

The App Store Competitive Index, which tracks the aggregate volume of downloads each day from the top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S, went from 4.07 million daily downloads in September to 5.40 million in October.

Meanwhile, the cost per loyal user, which measures how much it costs marketers to acquire "loyal users" to their brands (a "loyal user" is defined as one that uses the app at least three times during a month) decreased by 6% from $1.13 in September, to to $1.06 in October.

So what accounted for this surge in downloads, and the decrease in marketing costs?

Fiksu says that it was the release of the iPhone 5 at the end of September.

"October was a month of bounty for mobile app marketers following the iPhone 5’s availability in late September. Organic searches soared during the month, as users eagerly explored the App Store, enthusiastically searching for new apps to download on their new iPhones," Fiksu said. 

"So while cost for conversions were equal or higher during this time, the heighted period of organic, natural discovery drove down the cost to acquire and engage loyal users. Many savvy marketers wisely chose to ride this 'organic wave,' improving user acquisition rates without substantially increasing their spending." 

A similar thing happened during the launch of the iPhone 4S in October 2011,when traffic surged by 29% fo.

The trend of traffic beginning to climb started in late September, following the iPhone 5's release, and continued into October.

The news gets even better for marketers: users were were taking their time to select new apps, instead of downloading many at once.

"This shift may lead to an even steadier, more sustained opportunity for mobile app marketers in the weeks – even months – following a major device launch," said Fiksu.

Fiksu predicts that the mobile apps will see another surge during November, due to the success of e-commerce during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Fiksu raised $10 million in a Series B round of funding in July from Qualcomm and Charles River Ventures to bring its total funding to $17.8 million.

App milestones

A report from market intelligence company ABI Research, released last week said that, by the end of this year,the cumulative revenue brought in by mobile apps will pass $30 billion. This includes money brought in from pay-per-downloads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and in-app advertisements.

This is even more impressive when you realize that this will mean revenue had nearly doubled in one year.

In September, Google announced that it had hit its 25 billionth download, which it three years and 11 months to get to. In comparison, Apple, who hit the 25 billion download mark back in March, beat Google by a few months, taking just three years and eight months to get to the same number.

Google play is the home for 675,000 Android apps, while Apple announced during its iPhone 5 unveiling earlier this year that it offers 700,000 apps, 250,000 of which specifically for the iPad.

The app marketplace is showing no signs of slowing down, and there is a lot of money to be made, especially if the cost of marketing is able to decrease as well.

(Image source: http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com)




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