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Developers: Pay Attention! An Ovi App Will Get 160% More Downloads than an iOS App

Developers: Pay Attention! An Ovi App Will Get 160% More Downloads than an iOS App

By: Hillel Fuld

The mobile ecosystem never ceases to amaze! As I tweeted yesterday, if you had told me ten years ago that in the mobile (and even Web) game, Yahoo and AOL would  be failures, Motorola is a part of Google, and Apple is crushing the competition, I might have laughed. Meanwhile, on the apps front, the obvious king is Apple with 450k apps and the runner up being Google with over 250k apps. Except, there is one slight problem.

What exactly do I care that there are 450k apps in the App Store? If I am a consumer that just means more confusion when finding the must-have apps, and if I am a developer, it means a larger challenge when trying to have my app stand out. So numbers aren't everything.

The important parameter by which these app stores should be judged is, per app. How many times do apps get downloaded on each app store? According to a Germany-based market research firm research2guidance, the numbers are pretty shocking.

The new report compares the number of downloads an average app can expect across the Apple App Store, the Nokia Ovi Store, the Microsoft Windows MarketPlace, and the BlackBerry App World. Guess who is the biggest loser by far? Did you guess yet? Yes, Apple and not by a small margin either.

BGR reports ”The ‘average app’ has a better chance to generate downloads on ‘non-hyped’ platforms,” the firm said in a press release on Wednesday. In the second quarter of 2011, the average application in Nokia’s Ovi Store generated 160% more daily downloads than the average iOS app in Apple’s App Store. Individual apps were downloaded from Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace 80% more often each day than from the App Store on average, and apps in RIM’s BlackBerry App World generated 43% more daily downloads than Apple’s offering.

Software titles in Google’s Android Market were downloaded 5% less often each day compared to the iOS App Store, and Apple had HP’s webOS App Catalog beat by 95% last quarter. Research2guidance’s full press release follows below along with a chart outlining the firm’s second-quarter data.


Here is the full press release:

Apps On Nokia’s OVI Store Had 2.5 Times Higher Download Numbers In Q2 2011 Compared To Apps on Apple App Store

The “average app” has a better chance to generate downloads on “non-hyped” platforms.

Despite all the hype around the major platforms Android and iOS, publishers are still overlooking the hidden potentials of the niche players. The Q2 2011 results of our smartphone application monitoring report indicate that those applications published on the less popular platforms, such as WP7 marketplace or Blackberry’s AppWorld, generate significantly more downloads compared to the Apple App Store.

Significantly lower competition, yet a sufficiently large user base that desires apps, are the major reasons for this.  Symbian still retains, by far, the highest potential user base. Even though its users are incomparably less active than iOS’s heavy downloaders, it still generates significant download volumes to Symbian publishers.  This is largely because whilst Apple boasts of its 400,000 apps, the OVI store contains less than a tenth of that number.

Looking into average numbers, the Android Market stands not far behind the Apple App Store.  This quarter, the average Android App attracted just 5% less users than iOS.  Competition is harsh.

However, going in for very small niche platforms may not be the best idea either. LG World! and Samsung’s App Store are struggling to generate user attention.  Although LG has less than 3,000 apps and as a result it is much easier to be discovered there, its user base is just too low.

Although the Symbian platform is seen by some developers to be clumsy and outdated, as well as Nokia’s transition to WP7 which has fuelled discussions as to when Nokia will give up its platform completely, the current status seems to be promising.  Recently, Nokia reported the launch of three new Symbian Smartphones and confirmed that these will not be the last of the products, nor updates, to be delivered on Symbian.

Find other important Q2 2011 market developments in the new volume of the research2guidance Smartphone App Market Monitor. The third volume of the report includes a special interest chapter on mobile retail market.


The conclusion is obvious. While everyone is buzzing about the App Store, the hype is really working against the best interests of developers. More hype, means more apps. More apps means more competition. While everyone is quick to pronounce Nokia and RIM dead, the fact of the matter is that developers on both platforms and others, are making a lot of monthly revenue and generating a whole lot of downloads. Check out this infographic for some perspective.

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