Apple's (AAPL) App Store Growth Halved in FY12 as Developers Get Discouraged (RIMM)

December 17, 2012 12:23 PM EST
We're not sure how the data compares with last year, but Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) App Store had an okay year in many respects during 2012. New app submissions slowed and discovery of new apps appeared to be a challenge.

Appsfire reported that new apps totaled 339,164 by the end of 2012 (we assume that means a few weeks into December). The number is up 10.7 percent from 2011 through only about half what was realized from 2010 to 2011. Appsfire said that, "It does not mean that there is less activity, but rather that growth is decelerating. This is likely the sign of a maturing market."

Further, 34 percent of the apps were paid, compared with 47 percent in 2011 and 62 percent in 2010.

Most startling, just 111,543 apps got "some" traction in the year and 640,380 go "very little" traction. About 273,285 apps were retired.

Just 3 percent of apps received a five-star rating, with 70 percent in the two- to three-star range.

"Angry Birds" was the highest-rated paid app and "Temple Run" the best free app.

WhatsApp (which had been eyed by Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) recently) was the "most desired" paid app.

Appsfire also commented that "[a] low number of apps (a little above 1000) reached the top ranks of the App Store in the US in 2012. This stresses how difficult discovery is if you’re not part of the elite group."

Some investors might believe that the lack of discovery and ability for apps to get traction might deter some promising developers away. We also think that Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM) upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system might have slowed progress in Apple's App Store, with some of the more ambitious developers making a switch (regardless of money or popularity, we assume).

For the infographic and more color on the data, click here.

Shares of Apple are up 0.7 percent today.

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