The app economy is becoming more mature as the Apple App Store turns 10

On the occasion of Apple’s App Store 10th anniversary yesterday, the global mobile measurement leader Adjust has summarized the development and other highlights of the store.

“Our research shows that as app releases have slowed down, updates have increased. But far from spelling the end of the ‘app economy,’ the move only shows that the industry is becoming more mature,” says .CEO Christian Henschel. “The App Store’s achieved remarkable growth in the past 10 years (and we have been part of the mobile ecosystem since more than six years), and we’re looking forward to seeing what the next decade brings.”

The App Store has mushroomed over the last 10 years. However app releases peaked in 2016, which saw an average 83,000 apps released per month. The dip in the accompanying graph shows when the App Store notoriously went down for part of August 2016, leading to a backlog of apps which needed to be uploaded once it came back up, hence the spike in September 2016.

AppStoreBirthday .jpg

The number of app releases is slowly tapering off, as developers look to focus on improving current apps rather than releasing new ones - and avoiding saturating the App Store even more. Adjust’s benchmark tool shows that 80% of app users are gone after the second day after installation, so focusing on the user experience is key to retention.

In 2012, Adjust (known as “adeven" at the time) coined the term “Zombie App” to describe an app that doesn’t ttract enough measurable attention to regularly receive rankings in the Apple App Store top lists. The line between living and Zombie Apps was set conservatively – an app had to rank on any of the 39,171 App Store top lists on two out of three days over the month. 

So what does this ultimately mean? Henschel says if the app does not advertise and does not appear on any of the top lists, it is virtually invisible to the user, unless he's specifically searching for it.

Data for the report was sourced from Adjust’s apptrace.com database in June 2018. Also, Adjust has made a video about the findings.