What matters and not in the AppStore ? – Part I


Ever wondered about the success of apps in the AppStore.  Each time I have tried to catch the elusive trend, I have been left frustrated. Sometimes the only trend I see is that, there is no trend.

Following are the things I thought will work ( being proved wrong with each slight of the hand by the AppStore):

1.  Great UI works: This was one of the initial theories when I was childishly naive. I saw the likes of Let’s Golf, Oregon Trail and thought that great presentation is the secret of success. But then comes Cube runner, Bowman, Frogger, Mr AahH and so on. They don’t have gorgeous UI but still get the work done.

2.  Brand Sells: This has held its ground for some time. EA sports, GameLoft , FreeVerse ran amok in the store. (They do so even now).  Scores of articles hinted at this too.  But then some relatively new entrants made big on the store too. Flurry( the comments are quite erudite too) however came up with a good article to say other wise. All in all they claimed (with statistics) that brand did/does not matter. How could applications like iShoot, Koi Pond , Pocket God succeed.  Hmm… good point.

3. Nostalgia sells: This theory holds firm for now. Frogger, Bookwork, Scrabble, Tetris, Solitaire, NFS are some examples of it. These titles have been very popular in other platforms and hence have been successful in the AppStore too.

4. Games sell: Hmmm… I am still ambivalent on this.  If you check out the Top Paid Apps or Top Grossers a great percentage of them are games. At the same time, there are a great number of game applications in the store.  What percentage of these games have made it to the top?  Can we ,based on this say that games have a higher success rate?

5. Social networking /Map apps sells: In spite of the initial hoopla around this category ( featuring in Keynote and other Apple Events) , I am not sure whether the applications have done really that great.  Maybe I am being unfair here :-(.

I have tried to list the things that might not work in this part. In the next part, I would like to highlight the success stories.

In the meantime, I would eagerly wait for any comments on the above 5 points listed. You might have your own points to add.

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One Response to “What matters and not in the AppStore ? – Part I”

  1. Spectator Says:

    I am curious about the usage pattern of Social Networking applications. By the definition of their existence, shouldn’t they be used more frequently and retained for a longer period. Apart from the satellites of Twitter and FaceBook, there are hardly any applications doing well in this category.


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