Statistical analysis of the Apple App Store

If you in any way make your living, or hope to make your living, via the App Store, I think you’ll find this fascinating. For example:

I ran a simple query on my data to determine the distribtion of user ratings. I found that 60% of apps do not have any user ratings

I’m surprised by this. Zero ratings. Not one person took the time to rate 60% of the apps. To me, that means 60% of the apps never get found, never find an audience. [Via iOS Dev Weekly]

  • JustDerek

    It feels like 60% of the apps on the app store are just noise anyway. So, this doesn’t surprise me. Maybe 60% of the apps don’t deserve being found? The trick is weeding out the good from the bad. I do feel really bad for those app developers trying to be found in the jungle of the app store.

  • lucascott

    I would argue that your conclusion isn’t merited by the data. 60% of apps don’t get ratings/reviews.

    Could be as you suggest that they didn’t get found.

    Could also be that they sucked and the user didn’t feel the need to waste time righting a review. Or that they are awesome but the user doesn’t believe in doing reviews as some kind of philosophical thing.

    No one can really say.

    • richardmac

      Using my own apps as an indicator, which is just a tiny snapshot, the ratio of downloads to reviews can be anywhere from 1 in 50 to 1 in 1,000. Actually you are far more likely to get a rating if your app is totally broken. So a good chunk of those apps MIGHT be apps that were downloaded dozens of times and didn’t crash.

  • Moeskido

    There’s another potential factor at work here.

    Nearly every business or vendor we buy goods and services from today not only pushes us to create a “customer account” for the privilege, but also very likely pesters us for “feedback” after the sale. That’s rarely something I’m inclined to do, unless such customer comments significantly influenced my buying decision in the first place. Why? It’s another task to add to the long list of clerical tasks we’re all asked to do for every other aspect of our lives. If I was happy with what I bought from you, your feedback will be my continuing purchases.

    So as much as I like to praise people who are doing good work—and I do try to support small app developers in specific who could use the boost—I’m not normally inclined to provide what often amounts to free market research. My week is already full up with paperwork and record-keeping that either didn’t exist or was done for me ten or twenty years ago.

    • lucascott

      This is exactly why I said you can’t draw conclusions. This is not an isolated attitude. Heck I’m often the same way. I rarely leave a review unless something is on the extremes. It’s way way awesome or it blows very major. Otherwise that it appears in my iPad or iPhone for others to ask about or in my Game Center is all you get. I simply don’t have time to do more than that

  • iTunes App Store sales stats are hardly the same thing as device activity stats, and we’d love to look at those.