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Does Apple have a ‘zombie app’ problem?

Published Jul 11th, 2014 1:52PM EDT
Apple App Store Zombie Apps
Image: Apple Inc.

While Apple is celebrating six years of App Store action with more than 75 billion app downloads served and over $15 billion paid to developers so far, a new report from app analytics company Adjust says that 80% of apps available in the App Store are “zombie apps,” or apps that aren’t easily discoverable by the users.

According to the company, to qualify as a Zombie App, an app must not rank on any of the 39,171 App Store top lists on two out of three days over the month. While App Store app discovery has been criticized before, it’s not clear what the correlation between Zombie App status and developer revenue is, as the Adjust doesn’t reveal such stats. Similarly, it’s not clear how and why the company chose to measure Zombie App status this way – the requirement for an app to show up in top charts “at least two out of three days over the evaluation period of one month” is not explained.

What’s clear is that, the more apps available in the App Store, the harder it is for them to hit the top app lists. Adjust expects some 578,000 apps to be launched in the following 12 months, with the company also revealing that more than 20% of apps launched since the App Store was first released have been either removed by Apple or by developers – the so-called “Dead Apps.”

Since the Apple Store was launched, 1.6 million apps were uploaded in total. Of those, there are currently 1,252,777 apps available, according to the analytics company.

When unveiling iOS 8 at WWDC 2014, Apple has also demoed various ways through which it hopes to improve app discovery, app beta testing and app bundling.

Similar stats for the Google Play Store or the Amazon Appstore have not been revealed in Adjust’s report, which is available in full at the source link.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.