AdMob just released some data about how iPhone users discover new apps in the App Store and how they use them once they have downloaded them. According to AdMob, most users download apps from the App Store directly from their phones. Only 7% go through iTunes to download apps. To find new apps, 62% of all respondents searched for a specific app and 60% looked through the lists of top selling apps in the store. AdMob also found that the majority of users (62%) install between 1 and 6 new apps per month and 22% of all iPhone users download more than 11 apps per month.
How do iPhone Users Discover Apps?
The data about how iPhone users discover apps is quite interesting. It doesn't come as a surprise that most users are looking for a specific type of app, but it is also clear that the Top 25 lists in the store play a major role in most users' purchase decisions. 46% of all iPhone users rely on recommendations from friends, while about 20% find new apps through ads in other applications and about 19% base their download decisions on news articles and blog posts they have read.
Given the size of the store at this point, it only makes sense that users rely on popularity as a measure of quality. Sadly, the App Store doesn't allow users to organize apps by ratings. Judging from this data, any app that becomes a bestseller and reaches the Top 25 can probably look forward to a long life within this list.
How Many Apps Do They Use?
About 40% of all iPhone users use about 4 to 6 apps at least once a week. Only about 5% use more than 20 apps per week. Given how many apps most users download per month, these results validate some other reports we have seen which argue that most iPhone apps are disposable and are discarded after a few days of usage.
The Power of Brands
Being an ad company, AdMob also asked the survey respondents if they would download apps from well-known brands. Over 70% answered that they had already downloaded apps from brands and over 60% said that they would be interested in doing so.
As AdMob is more interested in selling ads than revenue from app sales, it makes sense that the company didn't differentiate between paid and free apps in this survey, though it would have been interesting to see more data about how much users pay for their apps on average and what percentage of the apps they downloaded was free.
As always, it is important to note the methodology used for this survey. On August 6, AdMob recruited participants through ads in applications that use AdMob's advertising technology. Overall, AdMob received 190 responses from these ads, which the company feels is a significant sample size and provides a representative sample of the larger iPhone app market.