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Why 99% of mobile apps are dead?
The pre-story: The leading consultant of WSI Online Kristjan-Paul Raude is the internet marketing lector in TLÜ. One of the assumptions to pass the course was to write an essay about internet marketing. Some of the most interesting writings will be published in WSI blog. Here is the third of them. Authors: Robert Palm and Indrek Kose
In 2012 smartphone users downloaded about 45 billion apps, which doubled compared to the previous year. There are more than 7 billion people on Earth, which makes on average 6,4 app downloads per person. This is a fast growing business with no doubt. By 2016 the number of app downloads is predicted to grow up to 300 billion or at least 10x the amount of 2011 year downloads. At the same time the demand for paid apps has decreased by one %.
11% of all downloads in 2012 were paid apps and it’s predicted that the same number will drop to 7% by 2016.
87,5% of paid-for downloads in 2012 cost less than 2,99 dollars i.e. 2,3 euros.
When analysing the mobile app market we can see a substantial growth in upcoming years. This opens new opportunities for businesses to get their share of the growing market. On the other hand, the great demand for mobile apps has made it difficult for businesses to find and keep loyal customers who are willing to pay for the download.
The future is the web, not apps
Dave Winer, an USA software developer said in his blog that the future belongs to the web not for apps. This statement was supported by only one important point: integration. To be more specific, you cannot integrate with other apps. You can integrate websites with apps but there are few apps that integrate with one another.
Users understand instinctively that all needs related to mobile and web cannot be satisfied with apps alone, especially when navigating between apps is rather complicated.
This kind of consumer behaviour does not benefit for app developers. Downloading new apps usually brush aside old apps and new service providers are welcomed with open arms. The virtual word faces many difficulties. To stand out as a strong app development brand is a real challenge. Of course, there are big brands like Microsoft, EA Games, AVG etc., but speaking about minor businesses there are so many companies that in the end only the functional features of apps make the difference. Consumers want apps that are functional, take low resources and are with no charges. So the competitive advantage becomes the product itself, not the brand image.
Fierce competition in apps world
Big corporations crate apps that you have to pay for. Small developers create programs that have the same functionality but cost less or nothing at all. Some bright peanuts create even better apps with more functionality that are free of charge and become the most popular products on the market. Other apps fall into the dark abyss of forgetfulness as new cooler apps are released. This kind of app development leads to another round of inventing the wheel that different developers want to get their own share by creating basically identical products that are sold in Windows Phone Store, Appstore, Play Store etc.
On average 800 apps/games were uploaded every day to App Store in February this year which makes a total of 24 792 apps and games a month (148apps.biz). There is a total overproduction in app industry with a lot of crap. That’s why most of apps are not meant to survive. If the functionality is bad, the app has no purpose. The consumers are extremely critical and send 99% of apps to the app graveyard.
New applications emerge like mushrooms after the rain. This also implies to new gadgets that require specially modified apps. Soon enough there are so many gadgets that no one is able to modify their apps for all devices. There are big brothers like Apple and Windows that are the must haves, but smaller companies with less popular devices get less attention.
Mobile devices are here to stay. But as in wildfire only strong ones survive. The world of mobile apps is full of choices. There are apps that are so functional that some even cannot imagine their lives without some apps, and others that are so crappy that they are meant for extinction. Consumers have to make choices what apps deserve a place on their phones and other devices.
There is even created an app called UAR – Useless Apps Remover which is an easy tool to remove the parasites from your phone. UAR finds apps that are downloaded and when they were last used. Deleting the apps that take memory space is extremely simple.
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