iPhone App Downloads Drop In July, Incentivized Install Crackdown To Blame (Thank?)

Marketing technology company Fiksu has released new data that shows a downward trend in mobile application installations on iPhone. The increase, in broad terms, is marginal, given the size of the iPhone’s user base, but any non-upward movement is curious.

Says Fiksu, there was a drop from 4.505 million iPhone app installs per day in June to 4.25 million app installations per day in July.

The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index measures the average aggregate daily download volume of the Top 200 free iPhone apps in the U.S., and sourced its data from 2.7 billion mobile app actions recorded by the apps on the Fiksu for Mobile Apps user acquisition platform. These actions include app launches, registrations and in-app purchases, among other things.

Says Fiksu CEO Micah Adler, “one reason [for the downward trend] could be the absence of incentivized promotions which many had been using to bulk buy downloads and boost rank. App marketers are now starting to reallocate budgets into non-incentivized promotions that can deliver a higher loyal user conversion rate at a lower net cost.”

As you may recall, Apple clamped down on incentivized installs in April, and began rejecting apps that use pay-per-install or offer walls from the iTunes App Store.

Fiksu also notes that the cost for acquiring a loyal user (according to its Cost per Loyal User Index) decreased, too. In July, following four months of increases, the cost dipped 5.5% to $1.20.

So is Apple’s crackdown on incentivized installs really to blame here? For this, we turned to market leader in application distribution and monetization, Tapjoy. Interestingly, it had no comment.

But Peter Farago of Flurry Analytics confirmed that the general trend is correct from April to mid-summer. However, he couldn’t vouch for Fiksu’s specific numbers. “With lower cost price per acquisition removed (incentivized installs), we are seeing prices go up,” he notes.