Bigger isn’t always better: Nokia Ovi Store apps downloaded 160% more than iOS apps

Apple’s iOS App Store is the world’s most popular on-device mobile app portal by leaps and bounds, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best opportunity for developers according to Berlin, Germany-based market research firm research2guidance. Apple has a wide lead over competitors in terms of overall downloads and the number of applications in its App Store, but individual apps seemingly have a greater chance of success in rival offerings from Nokia, Microsoft and RIM. “The ‘average app’ has a better chance to generate downloads on ‘non-hyped’ platforms,” the firm said in a press release on Wednesday. In the second quarter of 2011, the average application in Nokia’s Ovi Store generated 160% more daily downloads than the average iOS app in Apple’s App Store. Individual apps were downloaded from Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace 80% more often each day than from the App Store on average, and apps in RIM’s BlackBerry App World generated 43% more daily downloads than Apple’s offering. Software titles in Google’s Android Market were downloaded 5% less often each day compared to the iOS App Store, and Apple had HP’s webOS App Catalog beat by 95% last quarter. Research2guidance’s full press release follows below along with a chart outlining the firm’s second-quarter data.

Apps On Nokia’s OVI Store Had 2.5 Times Higher Download Numbers In Q2 2011 Compared To Apps on Apple App Store

The “average app” has a better chance to generate downloads on “non-hyped” platforms.

Despite all the hype around the major platforms Android and iOS, publishers are still overlooking the hidden potentials of the niche players. The Q2 2011 results of our smartphone application monitoring report indicate that those applications published on the less popular platforms, such as WP7 marketplace or Blackberry’s AppWorld, generate significantly more downloads compared to the Apple App Store.

Significantly lower competition, yet a sufficiently large user base that desires apps, are the major reasons for this.  Symbian still retains, by far, the highest potential user base. Even though its users are incomparably less active than iOS’s heavy downloaders, it still generates significant download volumes to Symbian publishers.  This is largely because whilst Apple boasts of its 400,000 apps, the OVI store contains less than a tenth of that number.

Looking into average numbers, the Android Market stands not far behind the Apple App Store.  This quarter, the average Android App attracted just 5% less users than iOS.  Competition is harsh.

However, going in for very small niche platforms may not be the best idea either. LG World! and Samsung’s App Store are struggling to generate user attention.  Although LG has less than 3,000 apps and as a result it is much easier to be discovered there, its user base is just too low.

Although the Symbian platform is seen by some developers to be clumsy and outdated, as well as Nokia’s transition to WP7 which has fuelled discussions as to when Nokia will give up its platform completely, the current status seems to be promising.  Recently, Nokia reported the launch of three new Symbian Smartphones and confirmed that these will not be the last of the products, nor updates, to be delivered on Symbian.

Find other important Q2 2011 market developments in the new volume of the research2guidance Smartphone App Market Monitor. The third volume of the report includes a special interest chapter on mobile retail market.

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