When it comes to the battle of the ecosystems, Apple has often touted the superiority of the numbers of apps it has in its App Store (about 600,000). Although Android is fast catching up (about 540,000 apps at the moment), many technology writers and Apple enthusiasts will often call this one in favour of Cupertino (and technically, they’re right).
However new research shows that, while Apple does have about 600,000 apps in its app store, about 2 out of every 3 of them have never been downloaded – ever. In fact, the reality seems to be that only a few thousand apps actually get used.
Christian Hensche, the CEO of mobile analytics AdEven, whose company is behind the findings, says that there are some incredibly popular apps which account for the vast majority of downloads and that new apps from smaller vendors find it very, very hard to get noticed, regardless of how good they are.
“…The reality is there are only a couple of thousand apps that really make some kind of downloads…”
These findings really come as no surprise to many, as the reality is, there’s just not that many different apps most people need. Given the iPad (and of course Android tablets, too) are really just consumer devices, designed for the majority of people and not specialised equipment, there’s not a lot of need for specialised apps (and those who do have the need don’t generally go through the iTunes or Google Play stores to get them created).
I haven’t as yet found any information on how many apps in Google Play are actually downloaded (AdEven is releasing these results at the end of this year), out of the half million or so there – however I imagine the results wouldn’t be all that different from Apple’s.
Even in the case of Microsoft’s Store, where there’s significantly less apps than Google or Apple offer, I imagine the key and core apps most people need are probably well covered (I have to say the Windows 8 Store is pathetically empty and does indeed lack many useful tools. Windows 8 is not technically released yet, so I suppose I can cut them some slack over this).
I think it’s about time we all concede that in contest of which ecosystem is “better”, they all pretty much have the apps most people “need” and we’ve long exceeded the point at which counting apps has any realistic merit.