Categories

54 apps have been downloaded for every iOS device sold

At the September 1st music event, Apple announced that 6.5 billion apps were downloaded and that there had been 120 million iOS devices sold.

This works out to 54 apps per iOS device.

On June 7 Apple reported 5 billion apps over 100 million iOS devices or an average of 50 apps for iOS device.

On April 8th, I computed that the app attach rate was 47.

Is this rate noteworthy?

Let’s rewind to two years ago.  August 27th, 2008, soon after the App store launched.

Nokia had just declared that its users had downloaded over 90 million applications over the past 2 years. An analyst estimated that over 100 million users globally use Nokia smartphones/converged devices, implying an attach rate of less than 1 app/smartphone.

My, how expectations have changed.

  • desreveR

    Does the number of downloaded apps include updates to apps you already have on the device? If so, this number is not an accurate depiction of reality, as each "update" involves downloading a new version of that app that then replaces the old one. Thus, are we counting each app on the device multiple times?

    • http://www.asymco.com asymco

      No.

  • Tom

    on iOS, Steve Jobs uses comprehensive metrics that exclude updates. He pointed out that if updates were included, the numbers would be much higher. Sevket, from the UK, do you have comprehensive and current metrics on Android app downloads? It would be interestiung to compare apples with , …er, apples.

  • Tom

    It is a curious thing that, with the sale of android increasing as it is, that we don't have app metrics. How is this so?

    • veggiedude

      It’s been well known that people who buy Macs over Windows, are willing to buy more applications than their PC counterparts. The Linux crowd are even less inclined to pay for apps, because they expect many things to be free on their ‘free’ systems. So culture has a lot to do with buying habits. Android is basically Linux and has many of the same cultural inheritance. Bottom line: Android people are less likely to buy apps than iOS people.

  • http://www.chisai.com Robert

    I would like to know how many of those downloads are still on the device. Personally, I download a lot of Free Apps because they are free and I want to try them out. Many of these are deleted within a day or 15 minutes because I did not want the App.

    • veggiedude

      I'm like you – I have downloaded at least 250 apps, mostly free (at least 70% free). I keep my iPad maxed out. Can't wait for iOS 4.2 so I can start stuffing apps into folders, so I can keep more apps on. I would say at least 20% of things I download is thrown away within a day or two. But that still means I have about 150 apps on my iDevice at all times because there is a large quantity of good quality apps.

  • Andre

    Are there any usage statistics? How many apps do people use say in a week? I download a lot of apps but I regulary use just 7 apps (not counting the default iPhone apps)

    • RattyUK

      Why is that relevant? How many apps do you use on your computer? How many apps do you have installed? Once you have paid for the App then the transaction is complete. For example I would say that a lot of people have downloaded the Epic Citadel App since it's release last week but once you have experienced what the app is capable of then you probably won't use it on a daily basis but if you are showing off your iPad or iPhone to a friend you will definitely get it out to show just how far the technology has come.

      Saying that you only use seven apps means that you have seven real world usages not envisioned by Apple out of the box. That is seven things that you do with your iOS device that you find useful on a daily basis. Isn't that enough?

      • Andre

        Of course it's enough. I just was curious how many use cases other users have. Isn't this a legitimate question? I think usage data could show (quantitative) how iPhones etc. changed our daily life and help us to improve the experience. And don't forget that the shape of the market in the future is also determined by the usage of the apps – so I would say that's a very important question.

    • http://www.asymco.com asymco

      Companies which provide app metrics (e.g. pinch media now flurry.com) used to offer some summary data from their clients but it probably changed dramatically since then. The problem with usage data is it all depends on the apps. Some apps are disposable (think of some apps as content like a song or a youtube video). Some are deeply engaging or things you rely upon daily. It's unfair and counterproductive to lump them all together.

      • Andre

        You're right – I would say that e.g. games could be disposable. But on the other side to know how the users use the iPhone (respectively the apps) could be valuable – or? Knowing how many daily use cases they have for their iPhone, how many disposable apps they use, how many apps they have downloaded and never use – for me that are very interesting questions. I've to admit that I'm not sure if it is possible to interpet this data reasonable – because there are so many different users with so many different requirements.

    • Tom

      How many appliances do you use in your home? Vacuum every day? Air conditioner all winter? Can opener? Fans? We buy many apps for one reason or another and then use them when we need them.

      • Andre

        "We buy many apps for one reason or another and then use them when we need them." I agree with you but that doesn't help me understanding how the people use their iPhone. You propose to resign to the fact that people buy apps and we shouldn't question it? I don't know if such usage data is interpretable – at least I had assumed it could be interesting.

      • RattyUK

        "I agree with you but that doesn’t help me understanding how the people use their iPhone."

        I am kind of saying that the iPad and iPhone are computers. When you reduce the argument to that you are asking really what are you using your computer for. While this is useful for understanding where the growth areas could be a lot of the data you are interested in just isn't going to be available as many businesses for example might have in house apps they don't talk about or promote.

      • Andre

        "I am kind of saying that the iPad and iPhone are computers. When you reduce the argument to that you are asking really what are you using your computer for"
        I would also say they are computers. But because the people use their PCs (or Macs) for different things than their iPhone/iPad, I would make a distinction and wouldn't use the general term computer.

        "While this is useful for understanding where the growth areas could be"
        exactly my thoughts – that's one reason I'm interested in these data.

        "many businesses for example might have in house apps they don’t talk about or promote"
        and that's lead to a very interesting question: how many businesses have in house apps? A colleague developed an in house app for the iPad – but that's the only one I know about.

      • RattyUK

        "I would also say they are computers. But because the people use their PCs (or Macs) for different things than their iPhone/iPad, I would make a distinction and wouldn’t use the general term computer."
        But actually that is not true. As the developers start to push what can be done with it and now with 4.2 when it is released and the iPad gaining printing we are moving towards more generic computing on the device.

        Back in the day when say there was the Ohio Superboard the people who bought it bought it because they wanted to get into computers. The computer was the solution. There were many small companies doing lots of interesting things, some of which worked some of which fell buy the wayside. Then Apple came out with their version of the vision and boxed the whole thing up and people actually started buying them and we got apps like VisiCalc and people like accountants started buying the machines.

        When the Mac came out it was floppy based and you couldn't program for it but some kind of dream was there – I would say if you look at the original Mac and the current iPad you are looking at a similar stage of computing in both timelines. BUT at least with the iPad you had the ability to write apps out of the box.

        Because of the new paradigm people are playing with what it is capable of. We get apps like FlipBoard and others where people are pushing to see where it can go. There isn't as yet the game changing equivalent of Visicalc that I am aware of but that's not to say it doesn't exit or is being worked on as we type.

        "A colleague developed an in house app for the iPad – but that’s the only one I know about." That is because there are an awful lot of people doing it, you just don't know them, or you do know them but they are keeping quiet about it… I think these fall into Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns category: " "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know." "

      • Andre

        But today the actual iPad is not a generic replacement for computers. Maybe in the future – but not now. Of course for most of the people the capabilities of the iPad are sufficient – they surf the internet, read their emails, listen to music … they are the consumers. But there are many areas where the people will still use computers (at least for the next years). E.g. software developer, designer… gamer.

        And there are many people using business software in companies (CRMs, ERPs, … individual software). I don't see that many companies begin to rewrite their software for iPads (is it even possible to connect to a LAN using the iPad?).

        And that's the reason why I say that the use cases for iPads and 'traditional' computers differ (at least in some areas).

  • http://appleincanalysis.blogspot.com/ Lee Penick

    I'm doing my part. I like some of the educational apps for my 6 year old. Makes some simple things fun.