Apple’s App Store appears to have had a bad March.
The number of daily iPhone app downloads in the U.S. dropped by a whopping 30% in March to 4.45 million from 6.35 million the month before, according to new data from Fiksu, a mobile marketing platform that tracks app downloads. Worse still, this marks the second straight month of declining downloads.
In fact, Fiksu’s estimates show that iPhone users actually downloaded fewer apps per day in March than in any month since the iPhone 4S launched in October.
As Fiksu points out in the report, a certain amount of this was expected as our honeymoon with the iPhone 4S comes to an end. Those who did purchase a new iPhone are becoming less interested in discovering new apps and more content to stick with what they have.
But the other big factor that accelerated the decline was Apple’s decision in February to crack down on developers who try to inflate their numbers by hiring third-party marketing services who program bots to automatically download apps. So last month’s numbers may be a better reflection of the organic demand for apps.
Fiksu’s data is drawn from more than 21 billion app launches, registrations and in-app purchases it tracks from apps that have used its marketing platform.
One big caveat here is that these numbers only represent U.S. app downloads, but Apple has since launched the iPhone 4s in dozens of other countries who may still be experiencing their honeymoon with the phone and its apps.