Zombie Apps Keep Developers Awake At Night!
A zombie app is an app that is essentially invisible to consumers because it doesn’t appear in the top 300 lists on the App stores. A zombie app can therefore only be discovered by searching for a specific type of app, or by knowing the name of the app and searching it directly. Because zombie apps are invisible, they aren’t downloaded often enough to provide the app developer with the funds needed for further development. As a result, they are often abandoned.
It is hardly surprising that there are zombie apps, given the huge numbers of apps available through the various stores. This data is from June 2016.
|App Store||Number of Apps|
|Google Play||2.2 million|
Most and Least Popular Categories of Apps
The most popular category of apps in the Apple store is Games (24.4%) followed by Business (10.07%) and then Education (8.82%). The least popular is Navigation (1.17%).
In the Google Play store, Games is also the most popular category but that is followed by Education. Education is in second place because Android tablets are more affordable than iPads for schools and universities.
Navigation is the least popular category everywhere. It is very expensive to do the territory mapping needed for navigational apps. Besides, Google Maps has this category sewn up!
Number of Zombie Apps
In 2012, an app advertising and tracking company called Adeven made a big splash with their announcement that more than 60% of apps had never been downloaded, not even once. When app developers responded with comments like, “Hey! That’s not true. I know I downloaded it and so did all of my friends”, the language was changed from ‘never downloaded’ to that of a zombie app–downloaded but not often enough to count.
The percentage of zombie apps varies widely by category. The Games category, for example, is saturated by big mobile game corporations. A full 80% of Games apps are zombies. In contrast the Finance category, for example, has significantly fewer apps and therefore very few zombies.