September 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

App Store Paradox: More Downloads from ‘Uncool’ App Stores

app store download report

We’ve heard isolated anecdotal evidence for years that apps in non-dominant app stores (Blackberry App World, Nokia Ovi, and Windows Phone Marketplace) actually end up on more phones, typically speaking, than do apps in the popular iTunes and Android app stores. In other words, there’s a disproportionate benefit to being a big app fish in a small app-store pond.

Now comes evidence that this trend is supported across the board, meaning that app developers who want their apps installed on the largest number of phones would do best to target Nokia Ovi, Windows Phone Marketplace, and Blackberry App World, in that order — all of which see greater numbers of downloads on average than do apps in the iTunes app store.

These rankings and the above chart come from a $1810 Research2Guidance report analyzing app store purchases for the second quarter of this year. In addition to finding that those app stores outperformed iTunes in terms of the average number of downloads per app, the study pegged Android app downloads as five-percent lower than iTunes’, after which things drop off even further for Samsung Apps, LGWorld, GetJar, and Palm, as one would expect.

However, there are at least two good reasons for app developers not to abandon iTunes in favor of Blackberry, Windows Phone, and the soon-to-be-rebranded Nokia Ovi (which is why Nokia recently announced a fund to attract developers to Symbian and Windows Phone 7, which will power many of its phones going forward).

Not only are the hits much, much bigger business in iTunes, but iOS users are more likely to pay for apps instead of downloading them for free.