Lack of Innovation Threatens App Stores: Study

Few have accused Apple and Google of being complacent when it comes to innovation but that may just be the death of the two companies, at least according to a new study.

A new study by analyst firm Canalys found that a lack of innovation when it comes to mobile app stores, run by the likes of Google and Apple, dramatically limits the amount of turnover amongst the top apps.

"When we speak with app developers, many are concerned about monetization or platform fragmentation, but the No. 1 problem they face is getting their apps noticed," Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd said. "We estimate that up to two-thirds of the apps in leading consumer app store catalogs receive fewer than 1,000 downloads in their first year, and a significant proportion of those get none at all. Many high-quality apps never get the attention they deserve."

The problem, according to Canalys, is that app store providers rely too much on basic app discovery tools, such as search or featured titles.

The study found that over a 16-week period in the United States, almost half of the titles in the top-100 paid lists appeared throughout the entire period with 58 titles on Google Play and 41 in Apple’s App Store occupied spaces in the respective top-100 lists in all eight surveys.

Canalys found that free apps displayed a similar pattern with 42 titles on Google Play and 31 in Apple’s App Store being featured in the top 100 in every snapshot.

The study suggests that if app discovery tools are not improved, developers will become frustrated and the creation of apps will decrease or they will turn to alternative app stores, such as Amazon or Facebook's app stores.


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