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Apps attrition rate high in Android

Recent research that said Android will overtake Apple's App Store probably didn't take attrition rate into account. The result is, in terms of number of apps, Android Market is unlikely to cross Apple App Store any time soon.

A whopping 95,000 applications that were once part of the Market are now no longer available. Android Market, which is now the world’s top app store with 300,000 apps, thus also has the distinction of having the highest attrition rate, of 32 per cent.

Appsfire, an apps discovery service which provided this analysis, said that Apple App Store has a better record in this regard. About 500,000 apps have been published on the Apple App Store so far but only 16 per cent were later pulled back from it.

It was earlier suggested that Android Market may soon eclipse the Apple App Store in terms of number of applications, but they perhaps failed to take attrition rate into account.

Apple itself said at the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) that it had 425,000 apps in the App Store, whereas Google said at its own recent developer conference that there were about 200,000 apps in the Android Market. Android Market still has a long way to go before it overtakes Apple App Store.

Appsfire says in the blog post, “They may also be including beta apps or private apps that were never intended to be published in the Market. The Amazon App Store is one such “private” app that is not distributed in the official Market, but it is an exception to the rule. In any case, there are also a considerable number of “private” apps for iOS, distributed through alternative, jailbreak-only stores like Cydia that would also need to be counted.”

Android Market apps are more experimental in nature, says Appsfire. They are just intended to provide more experience to developers, thus they are easier to pull back as well. It’s easier to enter the Android Market therefore less committed developers may also enter it.

Apple App Store, on the other hand, has a development fee of $100 (about Rs 4,500), which means only serious developers who are committed to supporting their apps over the longer term enter the Apple App Store.

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