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iOS users are ten times more likely to download apps than Symbian users

With the number of active Nokia service users now reaching 140 million worldwide, the company today announced that more than 200,000 people are currently signing up daily to Ovi, and that Ovi Store has reached the milestone of 2.3 million downloads per day. Available in more than 190 countries,

via Nokia Ovi Services Continue to Grow.

Nokia updated its tally of download rates so we can put the numbers side-by-side with Apple’s iTunes.

The slope of the Ovi curve does not yet compel one to get excited over the platform’s prospects in the near term. However to get a true picture, one needs to not only look at absolute download numbers but also the probability of any one user or device being used to download an app.

For this we need to note how the number of devices relates to the download rate. Apple announced recently that they sold 120 million devices running iOS. Not all those devices are still in use.  If we remove 20 million from that total we get approximately 100 million iOS devices. Nokia, on the other hand, specified exactly how many devices can access the Ovi store: 140 million.

Therefore 100 million iOS devices download at a rate of 17.7 million per day while 140 million Symbian devices download at the rate of 2.3 million per day.

That puts the weekly download rate per device at 1.24 for iOS users vs. 0.12 apps (or whatever is the appropriate content item for Ovi) every week for Symbian users.

As the table below details, the rate of downloads per device for iOS is more than 10x higher. This is the more interesting number if you are a developer.

If someone can point me to Android Market download rate (historic and/or current) I can add it to the mix.

  • Rob Scott

    It is the easy of use of iOS devices and that for the most part come bundled with data plans. Most Nokia devices do not come bundled with data something Nokia should address urgently. Nokia is still a very strong brand if you look at GfK reports for an example. If I were a developer I would put all my energies on iOS, with an eye on whatever Nokia and Microsoft are working on. I have no faith in Android, too much uncertainty in that platform.
    I think iOS with services like Airplay is just getting stronger and stronger. The more I think of airplay the more I think of turning everything in the house to an Apple product. Okay, I am way off topic now.

    • Tom

      Bundled with a data plan
      Not all come with a data plan. Both tablets Apple sells don't come with a data plan.
      iPod Touch and iPad.

    • kizedek

      I have an iPod touch and an iPad. While the iPad is a 3G model, I have yet to get a SIM card and activate a data account. Yet, I have downloaded hundreds of apps via WIFI.

      • Shaun

        That's great. The problem is the cheap Nokia smartphones that do not have Wifi. Those users often don't have dataplans either.

        If Nokia want more usage of their services then they should be pushing wifi into lower cost models.

  • MattF

    The ‘weekly downloads/device’ numbers are the revealing ones– there’s a qualitative difference between one or two downloads a week and one or two downloads every two or three months. Makes me wonder if there’s one or two essential utilities in the Ovi store– so that every user goes to the store a couple of times, and then never again.

  • Rob Scott

    I saw those numbers yesterday. Couldn’t believe numbers and the growth, so I guessed that they must be cumulative, that was the only way to make sense of all of that. Great work. Welcome to everyone who is new this site: this is great place, great analysis and great comments from the people who post and I hope you will share too. How about monetization?
    Oh, how can I follow the people who post on tweeter, can we log on with our twitter and/or facebook accounts? Its great community you have build here.
    Great work again.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      @Rob,
      Thanks for the feedback. The commenters present their identity via the wordpress public profile which includes the possibility of a twitter account. I need to look at the ways participation can be more engaging with external links. I am somewhat constrained by the messaging infrastructure I use. I can swap out the basic one provided by WordPress for some other, but I have not looked into it.

  • m4rkus

    On the other hand the roughly 20 million new users a quarter (extrapolated) is not a bad number if those users remain active and satisfied.

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  • Shaun

    Bearing in mind most Nokias come with Skype, Facebook, MSN, Twitter, QuickOffice already on the phone, there's quite often no reason to visit the store for a lot of people.

    Add in the millions of 5230 (and similar cheap models) owners who don't have data plans or just use their phones like feature phones and that's possibly why it's so low per device. Still, revealing for a developer.

    And of course on a Nokia the Ovi Store isn't the only place to buy an app. I bought JoikuSpot from their site, Gravity from their site. The developer of Gravity only gets a fraction of his revenue from Ovi purchases. Direct quote…

    "A lot better through my site. I'm getting more than double the amount compared to the OviStore"

    • Charlie

      Good point about the integrated clients on Nokia devices. This is especially true of the N900, and now N8 also.

      I thought developers were getting 70/30 splits on Ovi Store (60/40 where operator billing is involved) – what is the split on JoikuSpot?

    • gslusher

      It will take an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad user a few minutes to download those, if needed. However, that accounts for only 4-5 apps. The average iOS user has downloaded 50+ apps–6 billion divided by 120 million. Thus, the included apps don't account for the difference.

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  • Charlie

    How many of the iPhone apps were paid apps? Unfortunately pricing in Ovi Store is unrealistic. There are very few free apps that are worth downloading and those that are not free are priced unrealistically, not at $0.99 as you have on iPhone but often ten times that price.

    Ovi Store needs to get a serious grip on pricing and make it far more realistic to improve the likelihood of owners actually paying for content. They also need to increase the variety of free and non-free apps.

    Apple also include books as "apps" on the App Store, and over 25,000 apps are in fact books (that was an old figure, probably a much higher number now).

    Comparing the Android Marketplace figures would be very interesting, unfortunately you probably won't be able to break out the "24 hour refund" figures from the raw download numbers, also piracy is rife on Android so I'm expecting the numbers to be much lower than Apple, but still higher than Ovi Store. And with only a small number of countries support payments for Android apps, the total number of downloads will be unrepresentative of actual purchases.

  • Dingie

    my personal experience of the ovi store is nothing but bad feelings. Symbian has potentially hundreds of thousands of apps across its history and yet so often apps that I had downloaded previously would not be available in the store. I would be interested to see what the numbers are for UNIQUE downloaded apps, not updates etc that would be the real story.