Apple iPhone Study Suggests Free Apps Will Be Priced

Posted on February 22, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , , , |

By Kara Gilmour

Apple iPhone users who buy applications for their smartphone usually abandon them after the first download. The study was conducted by research firm Pinch Media which disclosed that only 30 percent of people actually use the applications.

iphone-apps4Apple iPhone applications can be freely downloaded or purchased by Apple Inc’s App Store online. However, a new study suggests that only 30 percent of users who fetch new applications usually vacate them after the first install. It is a trend that is quite troubling for developers who make free software for the smartphone.

“Paid applications generally retain their users longer than free applications, although the drop-off is still pretty steep,” a Pinch Media spokesperson said.

Throughout the RIM BlackBerry Storm vs Apple iPhone debate, most people supported one phone over the other based solely on the number of free applications available for the device. While both mobile phones do offer an online store to retrieve free and paid applications, smartphone users should base their choice on the quality and usability of the mobile device and not its app store.

Apple iPhone users usually retire free apps after its first install.

Pinch Media also said, “Users stop using the average applications pretty quickly. Long-term audience are generally one percent of total downloads.” The study is quite astonishing and could mark what the future holds for free iPhone applications.

News organizations including Fox, CNN and AP all offer free applications for the Apple iPhone device. There is also a growing number of free apps developing for the Google Android phone and the RIM BlackBerry Storm. The question is, what good are the free apps if smartphone users retire them after the first download?

Some iPhone owners prefer just reading news or content directly from a Web site than using an application. This is also true for PC users who prefer browsing through the Internet for content than depending on a software application to do it for them. While this might be a new trend, it could also mean that free programs from companies might come with a new fee.

When an iPhone user wants new software, they can retrieve it directly from the mobile device. The smartphone has a menu screen which directs the user to download the program from the Apple App Store. While free applications have been a vehicle to get users familiar with the App Store, developers could use this as an opportunity to sell their iPhone software.

If the “free” title of the app is warding people away, iPhone developers could start out with a small price. Pinch Media also said that dropping the price on existing applications does increase demand by 130 percent. Raising the price scares people away and decreases downloads by 25 percent, according to the research firm.

Source: newsoxy


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