Apple has told TechCrunch that Pokémon Go has broken an impressive App Store record. While the game was only available in a few countries at the time, the app has attracted more downloads in the App Store during its first week than any other App Store app has in its first week, ever.
Pokémon Go initially launched in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. Apple didn’t provide any hard number, but it’s clear that Pokémon Go became a massive phenomenon and an instant hit.
The Pokémon Company has continued rolling out the game in more countries over the past few weeks and the game just launched in Japan today. The Pokémania isn’t going to stop any time soon.
It’s interesting to see that more than eight years after the launch of the App Store, there are still some app phenomenons like Pokémon Go. Sure, the App Store novelty has worn off. But you would be crazy to say that apps are dead.
Instead, it looks like usage is shifting as people now know what they want to do with their phone. At first, it was a common thing to open the App Store to discover new apps and find new ways to use your phone.
Now, everybody knows that your phone is the most powerful tool you always have on you. When you’re stuck with something or when you want to do something, you’re still going to look for an app in the App Store. And that might be the reason why Apple is doing search ads in the App Store, because the App Store homepage isn’t useful for this kind of use cases.
Similarly, app discovery as become a lot more social. Now that most people have a smartphone and nearly everyone is using messaging apps and social networks, it’s easier to see trends and jump on the bandwagon.
Prisma is a good example of that. Just a few weeks after its launch, it became a huge hit in the App Store. And now, big companies like Facebook are paying attention. The fact that Prisma photos kept popping up everywhere in your social feeds certainly fostered a lot of those downloads.
And then, there’s iOS 10. As I wrote in my preview of iOS 10, Apple is breaking down its walled garden and adding extension points everywhere. Soon, you’ll be able to install extensions for Siri, Messages, Phone and Maps. In many ways, this is also quite useful when it comes to app discovery. With Messages in iOS 10, you can open a curated App Store with only Messages apps without having to leave the app. This way, you can make your phone more capable and extend the default apps with more features. I believe this is going to be the app trend that is going to drive growth for the App Store’s second decade.
Article updated to clarify record period.