iPhone: 140,000+ Apps But Most People Use only 5-10

Not very many according to an article in today’s New York Times (‘When Phones Are Just Too Smart’).

A summary of stats from the piece:

The average iPhone or iPod Touch owner uses 5-10 apps regularly according to Flurry Research, despite there being 140,000+ available

According to AdMob, people browse only the most popular items in the apps stores rather than delve into less well known offerings.  This creates a bit of a chicken and egg situation for app developers.    Says Stewart Putney, the CEO of Moblyng, “for all the tens of thousands of apps out there, the odds of being exposed to more than a thousand are very small.”

Related to that, a Pinch Media study a year ago showed that appearing on a top 100 list increased daily new users on average 2.3x.   But that people tired of applications quickly with less than 10% of users returning to free ones after ten days.

A separate study by Pinch on paid apps
, shows that if every app was average it would have 9300 downloads and $12,100 revenue – an ok-ish return on investment.   But the reality is that the average figure doesn’t apply, it’s skewed by there being a handful of wildly successful apps and a mass of unsuccessful ones – with 50% having 1000 or fewer downloads as this presentation shows:

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