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Invisible Apps In Apple’s App Store

Apple’s App Store now has more than 650,000 apps with 225,000 built for the iPad, according to the latest report from the company. But how many of the 650,000 are invisible to the more than 350 million iOS users?

Apple's App Store screenshotThis is the question Berlin-based mobile analytics and advertising company Adeven wants to answer, with their new tool Apptrace. The tool is fresh on the market, launching Tuesday, and the 7-figure Series, a funding from Target Partners has helped the startup to create this free tool which provides a deep view of the App Store through a pretty interface.

The first numbers Adeven revealed are amazing: “The reality is there are only a couple thousand apps that really make some kind of downloads. This is based on Apple’s closed system—it’s tough to discover those kinds of apps. You don’t have proper search, so the only way to discover new apps is through the top listing,” the company’s CEO, Christian Henschel, said in an interview with GigaOm.

According to Henschel, small app developers struggle to make their apps discovered in the App Store but the top 25 apps come from companies that spend millions to make their app and to get it to the top spots. This makes the competition stiff.

Adeven’s recent study shows there are around 400,000 apps in Apple’s App Store without any downloads or rankings – in other words, they are invisible for an average iOS user. I believe Apple is aware of this issue. Its recent acquisition of Chomp is one step toward a solution, as it will make apps discoverable by using search algorithms different from those used in a usual App Store search. However, do average iOS users download apps (free or with a price) without any ratings? There are web-based tools for iOS app discovery, like, but the information it provides is based on app reviews so the invisible apps will remain invisible.

However, Apple’s deep Facebook integration could be the solution for small app developers who struggle to obtain visibility. With iOS 6 you can share apps right from the App Store, making invisible app more visible through social media channels. The more likes the app gets, the more visible it becomes, so chances for discovery are high and the cost of being more noticeable is low.

So, would you download an unrated app from the App Store? Let us know by commenting. [Via GigaOm]

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