There’s lots of talk about how many billions of apps mobile users are downloading: More than 2 billion so far on the iPhone, for example. That’s impressive, but that’s not the same as if people were using 2 billion apps. The reality is that mobile apps don’t have long lives.
The latest data from mobile analytics startup Flurry: Only 67% of apps are used more than 30 days after they’re downloaded, 32% of apps are used more than 60 days after they’re downloaded, and just 25% of apps are used more than 90 days after they’re downloaded. (Includes iPhone, iPod touch, Google Android, BlackBerry, Java ME platforms.)
In this chart, Flurry graphs the apps with the highest retention — news, reference — and the lowest — lifestyle, books, entertainment. It also displays the categories by how often they’re used. (Vertical axis.)
The biggest potential flaw with this data: We don’t know which apps Flurry is tracking and whether they offer a good picture of the broader mobile app industry. It’s possible that Flurry’s sample set includes a disproportionate number of lousy, low-retention-rate apps, which could skew the data.
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