September Index Numbers Show iPhone 5’s Strong Impact on Mobile App Marketing

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. While the App Store Competitive Index didn’t depict a huge month-over-month change in download volumes, in reality there was a whirlwind of activity taking place beneath the surface.

Specifically, by examining the data from before the iPhone 5’s arrival and afterward, we identified a clear distinction in app download activity. In the weeks prior to the phone's launch, downloads decreased by 3 percent, but in the weeks after, downloads swelled by a substantial 33 percent.

Meanwhile, the Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index for September was among the lowest on record at $1.13, down 21 cents or 16 percent from August’s $1.34. The last time the Cost per Loyal User Index came close to this was May 2011, when it was $1.10, as a result of Apple’s ban on incentive-based installs, followed by January 2012 when it fell to $1.14 after the holiday advertising craze.

What does this all mean? Opportunity with a capital O! For app marketers, the iPhone 5 launch in September delivered a prime chance to cost-effectively acquire large volumes of loyal users. In fact, one of our clients even experienced a 20 percent increase in organic downloads and 35 percent revenue gains during the iPhone 5’s post-launch period. Many other clients were able to take advantage of the traffic jump.  

As the iPad Mini hits shelves, we may see a continuation of this wave. However, we expect September’s bargain period of rich marketing opportunities will likely be unmatched until the post-holiday frenzy in January 2013.

A big thank you to all the publications that covered our September Indexes, including AppNewserFierceMobileContent, Inside Mobile Apps, Marketing VoxMediaPostMobile Marketing Watch and Mobile World Live.


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