How App Developers Can Avoid The Dreaded 'Uninstall'

For every 10 apps that users install on their phones, more than three are ultimately uninstalled, new research finds. How do developers avoid finding themselves on the wrong end of that statistic?

For one, it’s important that they consider their choice of mobile operating system. Indeed, the Android uninstall rate is 200% higher than iOS, according to new data from AppsFlyer.

Why? Storage space, app quality, device quality, and incentivized advertising are among the biggest reasons, the mobile analytics and attribution firm suggests.

Specifically, a whopping 43% of gaming app installs on Android devices are eventually uninstalled, compared to only 21% of shopping app installs.

What’s more, iOS users are far more reliable, with only 13% uninstalling gaming apps, and a mere 9% removing shopping apps from their devices.

Incentivized installs are especially damaging. Since rewarded advertising is far more common on Android, the uninstall rate for non-organic installs in leading markets is much higher than iOS'.

Domestic developers should feel a bit better, however. That’s because the the United States has the lowest uninstall rate from non-organic installs on both Android and iOS (31% and 12%, respectively).

Also of note, shopping apps enjoy greater brand affinity, AppsFlyer finds. The retail category has relatively low uninstall rates on Android as well as iOS. This can be explained by users' stronger connection to shopping brands -- from offline and Web experiences, AppsFlyer believes.

For its findings, AppsFlyer said it recently tracked more than 20 million uninstalls on nearly 500 apps around the world. Uninstall rates were calculated by dividing the total number of uninstalls by the total number of installs.

This column was originally published in Moblog on November 16, 2016.

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