iPhone App Downloads Dropped In September, iPhone 4S Anticipation Pegged As Culprit

Marketing technology company Fiksu’s data for the month of September shows the year’s biggest drop in application downloads, a trend it claims was impacted by mobile consumers holding out for the next Apple iPhone. Last month, the company speculated that a hiatus in sales of older iPhone models was impacting app downloads, and Apple’s recent admission of a drop of 3 million device sales last quarter appears to validate that claim.

The company publishes its Fiksu Indexes monthly to measure fluctuations in competition for rank in the app stores and the cost to acquire loyal users in order to help mobile app marketers benchmark their performance against industry averages.

In September, the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index, which measures the average aggregate daily download volume of the Top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps, dropped by 6% from 4.06 million downloads in August to 3.8 million. This is the largest decrease Fiksu has seen this year, since it began measuring app store trends in May.

Meanwhile, the Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index, which measures the cost of user acquisition, increased last month. It went up by 10 cents to $1.64, a 6% jump from $1.54 in August. The company also saw a continued decline in organic iPhone app downloads during September (a 4% drop), though not as bad as in August (a 35% drop).

Organic downloads are those where people actively seek out new apps in the app store without first seeing an ad. The drop here could also have been somewhat impacted by the anticipation of the new iPhone, as consumers weren’t looking to download new apps to what would soon be their old iPhone.