New Apple-Supported Study Shines Spotlight on Success of Third-Party Apps on App Store

In recent months, Apple has drawn flak for its stringent App Store policies and disallowing sideloading of apps on iPhone and iPad. Now, the company has published the results of a study it commissioned to show how third-party apps can taste “global success” on the App Store.

The App Store hosts all the company’s native apps and third-party apps. Of the 1.8 million listings, just 60 are native Apple apps. To show how well third-party apps are doing, the Cupertino giant interestingly chose to downplay the success of its own apps. The study was undertaken by economists at Analysis Group at the company’s behest.

To drive the point home, the iPhone maker listed the top app from each category in various countries, such as the US, the UK, France, and Germany. The report notes that “Apple’s own apps are rarely the most popular app of a particular type, and account for a small share of app usage.” The company hopes you will infer that third-party apps perform better than native apps.

Other key points the report highlights are:

  • Third-party apps are the only options for consumers for entire types of apps, including social networking, dating services, travel planning, and food and drink.
  • Leaders in-app types often vary across countries, with many regional leaders outperforming their globally competitive counterparts.
  • Third-party apps are the most popular among iPhone users in most regions for major app types, including music streaming, TV and movie streaming, reading, communication, and mapping apps.
  • Across many app types, Apple’s own apps account for a relatively small share of app usage among iPhone users. This is the case even though some Apple apps are preinstalled to enable core functionality of the device.
  • iPhone users often use multiple apps within a single category, especially apps for communicating, reading the news, watching videos, or navigating — underscoring how easily users can switch between apps and the breadth of opportunity for developers.

Some statistics palliating native apps’ success in the US are:

  • Netflix is used 17 times more than Apple TV+
  • Wattpad is preferred 5.5x over Apple Books
  • Spotify garners 1.6x more listeners than Apple Music
  • Google Maps is used 1.5x more than Apple’s native app equivalent

Our Take

Like the benchmarks and graphs it uses in launch events, Apple’s report seems to highlight specific points that work in its favor. The report also turns a blind eye to the Dutch dating app dispute, the 30 percent commission on in-app purchases, the App Store-related pain points from the lawsuit against Epic Games, and how the App Store promotes some apps more than others.

It is clear that Apple has published this report to better defend itself when legislators push it to bend App Store rules in due course. Do you think this strategy will pay off for the company?

[Via Apple Newsroom]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.