The week after Christmas is a lazy one, but the App Store was working overtime. Apple triumphantly announced today that the late holiday season brought in more than a billion dollars in purchases on its mobile marketplace. Read More
Mobile app marketing firm Fiksu has new data today on the effect the post-holiday rush on mobile devices had on the number of apps downloaded throughout the month of January. In short, downloads skyrocketed last month, even beating December’s numbers. iOS downloads reached an all-time high last month, the firm says, up 12% from its previous high in December, when the devices were originally unwrapped by their new owners. This trend seems to indicate that the fervor to load up a new phone or tablet with apps doesn’t just result in a temporary spike – the increased activity is sustained over weeks (and perhaps months) into the future.
The measurement known as the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index tracks the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps. It peaked at 6.79 million daily downloads in January, up from December’s 6.04 million (or, as noted above, 12%).
To be clear, this firm tracks trends here in the U.S., so its findings are not globally relevant. Still, they seem to highlight how the traditional mindset around marketing has inched its way into the mobile app space.
Case in point: in January, the cost to market mobile apps dropped significantly, falling 59% from December’s record high of $1.81 to just $1.14 last month. This is the more interesting data point for app marketers, because it shows a misconception about how marketing spend needs to work over the holidays. Apps are not Christmas presents, which have to be bought, wrapped and ready by a particular date – people continue to buy apps throughout January too, and beyond.
Although the advertisers rushed to drive up their app store rankings over the holidays, it turned out that January was actually a better month to acquire users than December was. Who knew?
Micah Adler, Fiksu CEO, advises app marketers to reconsider their marketing programs. Many app brands invest heavily in Q4 and then reduce spending in January as they evaluate their programs for the New Year and focus on version upgrades, he says. But January, note Adler, is “an excellent time for both growth and value – and budget-savvy marketers should take full advantage.”
Now they know for next year. Oh well.
Update: RIM updated their blog to state that the images and characters in question are were meant to be a bit of fun, and not the vanguard of the company’s new marketing plan.
Way back in December, before a management shakeup saw him and his partner leaving RIM’s top posts, co-CEO Jim Balsillie lamented the state of the company’s marketing efforts. They hadn’t “achieved the desired results” as he put it during RIM’s Q4 earnings call, and promised big things to come on the marketing front come 2012.
Things seemed to start off well — you couldn’t watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve without getting an eye-full of BlackBerry logos imploring you to “be bold” in in the new year.
Then the Bold Team happened. Somehow, when RIM’s marketing department was brainstorming ways to get people to take them seriously as a worthwhile competitor in the smartphone market, the concept of using small ethnically-diverse cartoon superheroes not only came up but stuck.
Let’s meet the team, shall we?
Look, it’s not as though I don’t understand what RIM is going for here. The implication is that BlackBerry users don’t fit the corporate drone archetype that people associate with the brand. They’re active, they’re motivated, and yes, they enjoy a good ninja movie just like the rest of us.
RIM is trying to humanize the brand (or in this case, super-humanize) in an attempt to show people that using a BlackBerry isn’t a mark of the tragically uncool or the hopeless workaholic. All of this in hopes that people who would have otherwise written off BlackBerrys would give it a second thought when it came time to extend their contracts.
“Trying,” of course, is the keyword.
It’s not as though they don’t deserve credit for giving something new a try. RIM took a… ahem… bold step here by trying to shake off their business-oriented pallor, and while I don’t expect them to gain much headway if they try to play up the Burger King Kids Club, at least it shows that they’re open to taking some risks.
The bigger issue in play here is that while pumping up the BlackBerry brand is a necessary move for RIM, their product lines don’t seem quite up to snuff yet. With a leaked roadmap pointing to the first BlackBerry 10 device hitting the streets in September, it’ll be quite a while before RIM gets the fresh start they’ve needed for so long. Meanwhile, with hardware revamps and middling handsets peppering the first half of the year, even BlackBerry faithful will have to live with a considerable dry spell.
With any luck, this was just a one-off promotional effort, and we’ll never see these little creatures again.
It was a very Android and iOS Christmas. Mobile apps research form Flurry released estimates on how many Android and iOS devices were activated on Christmas day, as well as how many apps were downloaded. On a combined basis, 6.8 million devices were activated, up 353 percent from the 1.5 million average activations a day over the first 20 days of December. And that number from 2.8 million combined activations on Christmas, 2010, the previous record.
Flurry doesn’t break out the split between iOS and Android. But you can triangulate the numbers with other publicly available stats. Android chief Andy Rubin recently noted just before Christmas that Android activations surpassed 700,000 a day. So that leaves between 700,000 and 800,000 a day for iOS devices (iPhones iPads, and iPod Touches), roughly speaking.
The big unanswered question is whether that 50/50 split continued on Christmas Day, or whether one OS or the other prevailed as the choice Christmas gadget gift. My guess is that Android was beating iOS in total daily activations up until Christmas, but the pull of Apple’s marketing might have evened things out on Christmas Day.
In terms of apps, a record 242 million total apps were downloaded across both platforms, a 125 percent jump from the daily average earlier in December. Last Christmas, the number of combined downloads was 150 million.
Flurry expects a billon apps to be downloaded between Christmas and New Year’s Day.