The new iPhones had a dramatic impact on app downloads in September—but not in the direction you might think. We saw a sharp decline in app download volume, down 21 percent to 6.4 million daily downloads, the lowest volume since last September. Seems like consumers anticipating an upgrade to one of the new iPhones at the end of the month cut back on their app downloads. It makes sense: why go looking for new apps when you know you're about to upgrade?

The month of August marked a watershed moment for the Fiksu Indexes, as the Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) index surpassed $4 for the first time. That’s a 36 percent rise since July and a 117 percent increase since last year. 

Our Indexes revealed a significant rise in cost per loyal user and app download volumes in June. Increasing 24 percent over last month, app volume reached 8.3 million daily downloads. Meanwhile, June’s cost per loyal user soared to $3.21, which represents an increase of 30 percent since last month. Clearly, while the ever-increasing app downloads are providing greater inventory for in-app advertising,  marketers are still challenged to precisely target loyal app users.

It’s been a memorable day for Fiksu, as we reached another notable milestone! As of April 30, 2013 – two years since our launch – the Fiksu Mobile App Marketing Platform has recorded its one hundred billionth app user action and has driven more than one billion app downloads. This data is critical to our ability to drive real-time mobile ad campaign optimization and deliver the high-performance marketing results that leading brands demand. It’s also the foundation of the Fiksu Indexes and our insights into the complex app marketing landscape.

Though heightened user activity and app discovery continued well beyond the 2012 holidays and into the new year, our latest Indexes reveal that the pace tapered off as we entered February, giving way to a calmer, steadier month.

The 2012 holidays marked a turning point for mobile marketing, with significant growth in mobile devices, app downloads, and shopping conducted via smartphones and tablets. On Christmas Day, 17.4 million iOS and Android devices and tablets were unwrapped and activated – breaking the 2011 record by more than 2.5x.


Following the iPhone 5 launch in Septiber, 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 Septiber’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 Septiber. 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 Septiber.

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 sei 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 Noviber Indexes.

A big thank you to all the publications for covering our October Indexes: AppNewser, BizReport, FierciobileContent, MediaPost, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Marketing Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, PocketGamer, TechCrunch, Telecom Lead, TUAW, VatorNews and VentureBeat.

History has shown us the arrival of a new mobile device generates remarkable opportunities for app marketers to cost-effectively acquire and engage new users, as download volumes surge, costs to acquire loyal users plummet, and user-interest levels peak. So it was no surprise the much-anticipated arrival of the iPhone 5 in September prompted some interesting dynamics in the Fiksu Indexes.

Last week, Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone 5 started hitting the shelves, selling a record-shattering 5 million units in its first weekend of availability. Additionally, more than 100 million existing iOS device owners have already rushed to update to iOS 6, Apple’s newest operating system. But, for several weeks preceding the arrival of the iPhone 5, we observed a change in consumers’ download appetites, reflected prominently in our new August Index numbers.