Posted by: Viki ZabalaNovember 30, 2012
Following the iPhone 5 launch in September, October was a month of opportunity for mobile app marketers.
The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index was $1.06, down seven cents or 6 percent, from September’s $1.13. Significant increases in organic searches and app discovery – driven by the arrival of the iPhone 5 and users’ natural enthusiasm for downloading apps on new devices – pushed costs down and created a huge opportunity for mobile app marketers to very cost-efficiently acquire loyal users in October.
Meanwhile, the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index soared to 5.40 million daily downloads in October, a 33 percent increase from September. The Index painted a similar picture following the availability of the iPhone 4S in October 2011, when traffic also surged by a proportional 29 percent, and continues the surge we saw developing at the end of September.
Organic searches soared during the month, as users eagerly explored the App Store, enthusiastically searching for new apps to download on their new iPhones. So while cost for conversions were equal or higher during this time, the heighted period of organic, natural discovery drove down the cost to acquire and engage loyal users. Many savvy marketers wisely chose to ride this “organic wave,” improving user acquisition rates without substantially increasing their spending.
From the iPhone 5 launch, we noticed consumers appeared to be less frantic about updating their devices immediately, many choosing instead to wait several weeks to make the upgrade. Similarly, some seem to be taking more time to select and download new apps, instead of downloading many, all at once. This shift may lead to an even steadier, more sustained opportunity for mobile app marketers in the weeks – even months – following a major device launch.
With the 2012 holiday season underway, early data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday suggests that mobile commerce will have a giant impact on holiday sales – and that mobile apps will have a successful season overall. We’ll see how that plays out in our November Indexes.
A big thank you to all the publications for covering our October Indexes: AppNewser, BizReport, FierceMobileContent, Inside Mobile Apps, MediaPost, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Marketing Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, PocketGamer, TechCrunch, Telecom Lead, TUAW, VatorNews and VentureBeat.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJanuary 13, 2012
From the U.S. to China and everywhere in between, Apple appears to be "winning" around the world – big time. This week’s Fiksu Feed will focus on a variety of new industry studies, each predicting an explosive 2012 for the company.
An interesting Yankee Group survey of more than 15,000 U.S. consumers reveals that Apple will gain significant market share as smartphone usage continues to surge. GigaOm’s Darrell Etherington reports that, while a quarter of those surveyed already own an iPhone, 35 percent plan on buying one within the next six months. According to the survey, Android will continue to draw a significant amount of consumer interest, but it “won’t put any more distance between it and Apple.”
Underscoring Apple’s continued success are new findings from Piper Jaffray. Analyst Gene Munster surmises that Apple sold approximately four million more iPhones than expected in the last three months, attributed largely to strong 4S model sales. “But record setting iPhone sales aren't the biggest story for Apple, in Munster's eyes,” writes Apple Insider’s Neil Hughes. “Instead, he's looking toward the future, with a next-generation redesigned iPhone, which he believes is going to accelerate Apple's growth even further than the current iPhone 4S.”
Yet another report – this one from research firm NPD – reports that Apple’s iOS U.S. market share spiked from 26 percent in Q3 2011 to 43 percent in Q4. In this particular study, Android fell from 60 percent market share in Q3 to 47 percent – but still came in first place. According to NPD, over the course of 2011, the smartphone battle saw iOS and Android distancing themselves from the competition, turning it into “a two-horse race.” TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez has more.
Apple’s stores in China were mobbed last Friday when the new iPhone 4S hit shelves across the country. Apple Insider’s Katie Marsal shared images of thousands of people lined up to purchase their new, highly anticipated smartphones. As reported in last week’s Fiksu Feed, Apple recently announced that it would launch the iPhone 4S in China on Jan. 13, along with 21 other countries. The device is sold through China Unicom, which remains Apple's only carrier partner in the nation of more than one billion people.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJanuary 6, 2012
In looking back at the year that was, GigaOm’s Erica Ogg remarks that 2011 was the “turning point” for mobile, with smartphones outselling desktop and laptop PCs for the first time. She says, “The effect — and perhaps some of the cause of this — is a love affair with mobile apps, leading to more apps sold than ever and more time spent with them than ever.” In this week’s Fiksu Feed, we’ll take a look back at the explosive year of 2011, explore mobile app predictions for 2012 and highlight Apple’s continued growth plans and more.
In this article, “The Year in Mobile Apps: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going,” GigaOm’s Ogg outlines some of the most significant mobile app highlights of 2011, as well as some of the most important trends and themes to watch for as we begin the New Year.
Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch wrote this week that “2011 was the year that Apple and Google won the smartphone wars.” Using comScore data, he deduced that the combined market share of U.S. iPhone and Android mobile phone subscribers shot up from 43.8 percent to 75.6 percent in just 18 months. Conversely, RIM’s Blackberry fell from 37.6 percent to 19.7 percent, and Schonfeld writes “that the fact that market dominance can shift so rapidly (a year ago, Blackberry was still the single largest smartphone platform in the U.S.) is quite startling.”
Continuing its rapid-fire global growth, Apple announced Thursday that the iPhone 4S will be available in China and 21 other countries starting next Friday, January 13. Apple CEO Tim Cook said this week, “Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts. With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever.” GigaOM’s Darrell Etherington has more here.
In other news, Apple Insider reported that Apple is cracking down against app store piracy. Apptrackr, a popular resource for cracked iOS apps, has indicated that Apple’s legal team is now sending out large numbers of takedown notices in a concerted effort to shut down the operation. According to author Sam Oliver, Apptrackr has stopped directly linking to pirated software, and has moved its servers overseas to avoid legal ramifications.
To close out this week’s Feed, the New Year has brought a fresh wave of iPhone 5 speculations. In this rumor roll-up, John Cox of Network World wonders, “Will iPhone 5 bloom in the bleak midwinter? Will round pixels dazzle our eyes? Can the same material used in beer cans elevate the next iPhone to the level of complete redesign? Did you know the iPhone 5 is only waiting on Verizon to get its LTE act together?” It looks like only time will tell.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaDecember 2, 2011
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.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaOctober 28, 2011
iPhone anticipation strikes again!
Last month, our insights showed that a hiatus in iPhone sales (ahead of the much-rumored launch of the new iPhone) were directly tied to the drop in app downloads from Apple’s App Store.
Our latest Index findings reveal that the waiting game for iPhone 4S caused the volume of app downloads to continue to decline in September. Conversely, mobile app marketing costs reached an all-time high, creeping up 70 cents over the last six months. There’s no denying that attracting engaged users continues to be an expensive and competitive challenge for mobile app marketers.
- 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. In September, the volume of downloads dropped by six percent to 3.8 million from 4.06 million in August.
- The Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps. Loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. In September, the cost reached $1.64, a jump of six percent – 10 cents – from August’s $1.54.
Our Indexes have spurred a number of interesting industry conversations, including:
In examining the Indexes, AdWeek’s Anthony Ha writes, “On one hand, this seems like yet another way that developers are at the mercy of Apple. On the other, Apple isn't immune to these difficulties itself—the company blamed iPhone rumors (and the decision of consumers to wait for the new device) for sales numbers that fell short of analyst estimates.”
GigaOM’s Darrell Etherington says, “I suggest that declining app downloads may be more attributable to two other possible culprits: a slowdown of fresh, innovative content and/or marquee titles; and a user base growing more resistant to what has been a brand new form of product.” However, he goes on to say, “I still think it’s likely that new devices lead customers to new software purchases, even if my two counterpoints are true, so like Fiksu, I expect App Store downloads to see a rebound in the coming months.”
Thanks also to Sarah Perez of TechCrunch, Kim-Mai Cutler of InsideMobileApps, Phil Hornshaw of Appolicious, Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman of PocketGamerBiz and Jason Ankeny of FierceMobileContent for reporting our latest Index data to their readers.
Now that the new iPhone 4S is here – and more than four million people have already bought it – we’re as anxious as you to see what the October Indexes will reveal. We’ve taken an early peek at the data and all signs point to a spike in app downloads. Be sure to check back in late November when we’ll reveal the full download on October downloads!
Posted by: Viki ZabalaOctober 27, 2011
Android continued to grab headlines this week with new industry data highlighting the platform’s growing popularity and market dominance. We’ll check this out, along with some other interesting new mobile studies, in today’s Fiksu Feed.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaOctober 21, 2011
After hitting stores last Friday, it took just three days for consumers to snatch up 4 million iPhone 4S devices – an all-time mobile industry record. At the beginning of the week, Apple announced that 25 million people were already using its new operating system, iOS 5, and that more than 20 million had signed up for its iCloud service. We’ll check out Apple’s audacious predictions for the upcoming holiday season, seven Android must-reads and also find out what all the Siri and Ice Cream Sandwich fuss is about in this week’s Fiksu Feed.
On Tuesday, Apple announced its Q4 2011 earnings. Though the company had its second best quarter ever, tongues were wagging as it fell short of the Street’s lofty expectations for the first time in a long time. Nevertheless, it’s onward and upward for Apple. The company is projecting to make $37 billion in revenue next (holiday) quarter – a whopping $10 billion more than last year. Additionally, MG Siegler of TechCrunch reports that "Apple is so confident that next quarter is going to be a blow-out quarter that Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer went out of their way to predict that Apple would see record iPhone and iPad sales next quarter. That’s something Apple never does." So despite some negative press this week, Apple seems more confident than ever.
In other Apple news, the company’s latest game-changer, Siri, the voice-controlled virtual assistant, continues to make headlines. There’s no shortage of reporters singing its praises, while many others are quick to gripe about their experiences. Louis Bedigian shares his thoughts in this Forbes piece – Is Siri Seriously Awesome or Seriously Flawed?
Sharing center stage with Apple this week is Android. AdWeek’s Kim Mae Heussner reports that "While Apple’s iPhone and iOS ecosystem are still a hit among consumers, developers and advertisers, Android’s fortune is slowly changing." The publication surveyed a number of analysts, industry insiders and developers to compile seven things you need to know right now about Android, the platform that may just give Apple a run for its money.
Ryan Kim of GigaOM reports that being at the top of the smartphone market hasn’t satisfied Google execs. The customer experience team behind Android wants to move beyond record sales to inspire user emotions like "wonder" and "awe." In other words, it wants Android users to love their phones as much as iPhone users do.
Android’s efforts to become more usable and lovable were illustrated in the unveiling of its long-anticipated 4.0 mobile operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich. According to Jason Ankeny of FierceMobileContent, the new OS promises a more sophisticated and unified user experience across smartphones and tablets – reducing the platform’s rampant fragmentation issues. Full details can be found here.
Fun Friday fact: did you know that cell phone technology has been around since 1973? Geek.com covered Wilson Electronics’ visual depiction of the cell phone’s evolution – from a "literal brick to the svelte smartphones we have today" – that filled our team with nostalgia and prompted a few chuckles. Check out the infographic – along with some fun mobile trivia – here.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaOctober 14, 2011
This week in mobile news, Apple’s new iPhone 4S delighted early adopters, while its iOS 5 received a mixed bag of reviews following the much-anticipated Wednesday launch. Meanwhile, Blackberry users across five continents fumed as a massive outage cut off access to email and Web services for several days. We’ll explore these stories, as well as interesting new industry data predicting Android’s ascendancy, in this week’s Fiksu Feed.
It’s been a tough week for Blackberry. The highly publicized, multi-day Blackberry outage frustrated millions of smartphone users around the globe and put more pressure on Research In Motion for sweeping changes. On Thursday, the company announced that it had resolved its technical issues, but that it would likely take a while for service to return to normal. New York Times has more here.
In other news, Apple’s brand new operating system, iOS 5, made a huge splash this week. It’s virtually impossible to open a newspaper, surf the Web or jump on your favorite social networking channel without getting caught up in conversations about its 200+ new features. Jason Gilbert of Huffington Post calls it a "must-have" in this in-depth feature. However, as is often the case with new operating systems, many consumers reported frustratingly long download times and bugs as they installed iOS 5. David Martin of Cult of Mac offers trouble-shooting tips for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users here.
Tech reporters across the industry are buzzing with glowing reviews of Apple’s latest device, iPhone 4S. In his review round-up citing GigaOM and AllThingsD among others, Appolicious’ Phil Hornshaw notes that “most of the reviews acknowledge that the phone isn’t too vastly different from the current version of the iPhone, although it is pretty well improved. If you’re due for an upgrade or new to the iPhone (or you just can’t wait), it sounds like you won’t be disappointed.”
Despite the seemingly ubiquitous obsession with all things Apple, the company’s days as the undisputed “king of apps” may be numbered, reports TIME’s Graeme McMillan. Research from Xyologic indicates that Apple’s monthly app download rate currently surpasses Android by two times. However, the company predicts that Android’s app downloads will overtake Apple’s by June 2012. This is due in part to Android’s ever-increasing popularity in overseas markets, coupled with the growing number of apps available in the Android Market.
The two horse race is clearly on and it’s apparent that mobile app marketers need to take a closer look at the opportunity that an Android app presents. In fact, Fiksu released new data earlier this week revealing that, on average, Android app users are two times more loyal than iOS app users. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to check out our blog post here. And read what MediaPost’s Steve Smith and ReadWriteWeb’s Dan Rowinski had to say about our findings.
Another week, another prediction about the ever-increasing appetite for mobile apps. Sarah Perez of TechCrunch reported on new research from analyst firm Berg Insight, revealing that mobile app downloads will reach 98 billion by 2015. Additionally, app store revenue is also expected to reach $11.8 billion by 2015. See here for additional study findings.