3 Theories on Why Mobile Apps Fail 

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It’s been 13 years since the Apple App Store and Android Market (later renamed Google Play) launched, and it’s fair to say that our lives, and technology, have changed significantly. 

Progression in the mobile industry is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, we need and expect mobile advancements to make our lives more convenient and easier in today’s world. On the other hand, there isn’t enough room for every concept or app. As a result, over the years, mobile apps failed, despite the ideas being welcomed, adopted, and enjoyed during their tenure. 

And according to experts, the next two to three years are expected to see even more mobile and app growth. Mobile apps are expected to generate $935 billion* in revenue by 2023, and around 184 billion apps will have been downloaded* by 2024. 

There are now millions of apps in the App Store and Google Play. This availability and choice means the sky is the limit for smartphone users, but what does it mean for app developers? Read on to learn more about three theories on why mobile apps fail.

Why do Mobile Apps Fail? A Few Theories to Consider 

True or false: mobile apps have a 0.01% success rate. Sadly, this fact is true, and it begs the question, why do developers even bother if the success rate is so low? This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are three theories on why mobile apps fail that are worth considering. 

There are now a lot of apps available. 

As mentioned above, smartphone users literally have millions of options, and apps are added daily. In fact, 3,739 apps are added to Google Play every day*. The truth is that demand and growth lead to more competition, and competition leads to the definition and standards for the ‘best’ app evolving quickly and regularly. 

Free apps dominate the app stores. 

Why would a smartphone user pull out their wallet for an app, even with a $0.99 price tag, if so many free apps are available? As of March 2021, 93% of all iOS applications were available for free compared to 97% in Google Play*. While this landscape means greater accessibility for users, it also comes with limitations, i.e., difficult to monetize an app and less money to pump back into development. 

The cost of building the app has a hefty price tag. 

Talk about a wide range: according to insiders, a high-tech Android app can cost as much as $150,000 to make, while a simple iOS app can cost as little as $1,000. This concept and reality can be a difficult place to start for most app developers, never mind the required financial investment that is likely to be needed before, during, and after app development. 

Like the majority of things today, there is a shelf life for apps. Smartphone users become more dependent on these little devices with each passing day. By extension, apps are also a big part of our lives. Whether for entertainment, education, or social networking, brands, and their apps are vying for our time and attention, and as mentioned before, competition is only getting fiercer. 

These theories can help marketers and developers on their paths to app success. In the meantime, check out this CleverTap infographic for even more information on app failures, lessons, and key stats to know in 2021 and beyond. 

Why Mobile Apps Fail 

Infographic by CleverTap

3 Theories on Why Mobile Apps Fail

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