App discovery and installations are falling – is this a return to the golden month of old ?

Posted on September 1, 2017


So there has been a string of reports over the last few months on the decline in the number of new apps being installed by users.  Most of these stories are based on American data,  but I am sure that this is a trend that is happening all over.
Back in the day before we had smartphones,  a customer would buy a phone, and over the course of the first month would customise the phone to their liking, buying ring tones, screen backgrounds, a game or two, a cover.
Then the revenue for accessories was pretty much at zero for a good year or so.
This pattern of discovering what you need, getting it and living with it, is what we are seeing here.
OK it will take 6 to 9 months for the user to find all the utilities, games etc they want on their phone,  but after that, well who needs yet another game that is just the same as the previous 10.
Compounding this,  folks were changing their phone more often, however with the move to 18 or 24 month contracts, and the better faster, longer lived phones, this upgrade time has increased, with the second year being comparatively quiet for new apps.
So if we want to see a longer, richer period when folks are searching for and using new apps, then the way we learn about and find apps will need to be easier and more rewarding.
Curation is key,  reviews, top 10 lists etc,  because with many millions of apps to choose from it is too much,  infact it can be a little daunting looking for the best <insert type of app> here.
I think Instant apps may be a way to bridge the gap.  You’re on a web site, it runs an app,  you’ve tried,  now you can download it confident it’s right.
app installs
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