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Day May 16, 2010

The mystery of the Quantum Leap in the App add rate

The app store crossed 200k apps in early may and is on its way to a quarter million apps approved by end of June.

On the way to this total, the rate of addition of apps has been increasing to around 630 apps added every day.  What’s perhaps interesting is that this app add rate has not been increasing in a steady way.

The graph below shows how the add rate has been increasing (sourced from 148apps.biz).  During the first year, the add rate was increasing steadily.  Then it reached a plateau of about ~350 apps/day for six months in the later half of 2009.  Then it jumped dramatically in December to over 800/day and then leveled off to an average of 680/day during the last 6 months.

The pattern could be due to the rate of applications being submitted changing or due to the rate apps are approved. Clearly there is a seasonal explanation for the December jump, but the rate has held pretty steady after that month and has remained far above the rate during the trailing six months.

My guess is that the app approval process and resourcing for the task has been improved during the last six months.  On a monthly basis the new normal seems to be around 20k apps/mo.