January 2012 beats Holiday 2011 for mobile app downloads

Mar 1, 2012
Tech

The latest data about app downloads suggests that a lot of users grabbing new mobile devices doesn’t just lead to a spike in mobile downloads, but a longer-term trend that goes on for weeks. That’s what’s suggested by data from market research firm Fiksu, which analyzed U.S. app downloads for Apple’s iOS device and Google’s […]

The latest data about app downloads suggests that a lot of users grabbing new mobile devices doesn’t just lead to a spike in mobile downloads, but a longer-term trend that goes on for weeks.

That’s what’s suggested by data from market research firm Fiksu, which analyzed U.S. app downloads for Apple’s iOS device and Google’s Android operating system. It found that app downloads in January 2012 were actually higher than those seen in December 2011. Remember how the days around Christmas saw record-breaking numbers of app downloads? Fiksu’s data shows that January actually had 12 percent more downloads than the official holiday season, according to a story from TechCrunch.

On the one hand, this isn’t all that crazy – as new users spend time with their iPads, iPhones and Android devices, they learn more about them and find the apps that do what they want. The holiday season is mostly constrained to the end of December, which means that those new users are spending at least a chunk of January fiddling with their devices and downloading new apps.

But the numbers suggest that the traditional marketing vision that says that products need to be ready to go by specific dates in January, doesn’t really apply to apps. Instead, users are snagging new apps and trying them out well beyond the holiday season, and the cost of marketing during that time falls off considerably for app makers, as well. That means that while many app marketers are spending a lot to get their holiday rankings up, if they held off for January – the time when most people are probably just settling in to using their new devices and are on the hunt to maximize their efficiency with new apps – they could get more downloads at a lower cost.

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With January accounting for some 6.79 million app downloads as compared to December 6.09 million, and a 59 percent drop in costs for app marketing between the two months, it sounds like app developers, publishers and marketers might want to rethink how they’re spending their money. The holidays are for buying new devices, but it seems the new year is for learning how best to use them.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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