Daily Mobile App Downloads Hit A Record High in October, Thanks to the iPhone 4S

For the last few months, we've closely followed consumer anticipation for the iPhone 4S – tracking its direct impact on both mobile app downloads and app marketing costs.

With the arrival of the new iPhone, October was the pivotal month, putting an end to months of industry speculation and mounting expectation, and validating many of our own predictions based on insights gleaned from our Fiksu for Mobile Apps platform.

  • The App Store Competitive Index tracks the aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the Top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. The average volume of downloads per day increased by 29 percent from 3.8 million in September to a record high of 4.91 million in October, following the availability of the new iPhone 4S model.
  • The Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps. For the purpose of the Index, loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. The cost per loyal app user dropped 12 percent – 17 cents – to $1.47 in October from September’s all-time high of $1.64 due to the large increase in app downloads both paid and organically driven.

The first two weeks of October were similar to the month of September, as users held out excitedly for the new iPhone. But during the weekend of October 14 -16, the first three days of the new model’s availability, more than four million new iPhones were sold and app downloads soared to a record high. In fact, our Index experienced as much as a 70 percent increase in daily download volume during this time period, and recorded a significant increase in organic downloads.

For mobile marketers seeking extreme growth in a very short time period, that first weekend presented huge opportunity to secure large volumes of new users – but at a cost as competition was fierce. But by the end of the month, things had calmed down and marketing costs dropped 12 percent from September, yet volume remained plentiful.

Thanks to Kim-Mai Cutler of InsideMobileApps, Matt Brian of The Next Web, Jason Ankeny of FierceMobileContent, Keith Andrew of PockerGamer, Mobile Marketing Watch and TechJournal South for their reports on our latest Index data.

As we enter the holiday season, it will be interesting to see what’s in store for our November Indexes. Check back next month when we "unwrap" our latest findings.   

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