Ah, the holidays. Seems everyone from the youngsters to the grandparents gave and got technology, with smartphones and tablets flying off the shelves and under the tree. So the app market must have seen some pretty heavy activity on Christmas, right?
Not as much as might have been expected, according to D.B. Hebbard in TalkingNewMedia.
“As is usually the case during the holidays, app downloads spiked during December, and on Christmas day specifically, as new tablets and smartphones are opened as gifts. For the past few years the spike in downloads has been impressively high – and so the knee-jerk reaction is to once again point to the numbers as proof-positive that apps remain on a growth spurt,” writes Hebbard.
So where’s the problem? Hebbard digs a little deeper and cites figures from mobile metric platform Flurry on a marked decrease in app downloads during the 2013 holiday.
According to Mary Ellen Gordon, PhD, “The slowing growth rates and smaller Christmas Day app download spike signal market maturation.”
She continues, “Consumers who are on second, third or fourth devices have apps that they like and trust, and while they still download new apps, there isn’t much more impetus to do so on Christmas than any other day when they have a little downtime.”
This leads Gordon to believe that the “gold rush days” of app development and consumption are over, especially in heavily developed markets.
Like any new technology with the latest bells and whistles, initial adoption rates benefit from the “gee whiz” factor. Once you understand that your smartphone can be used as a strobe light, a metronome or a really sweet meditation timer, that novelty thrill is replaced with a desire to load your device with the things you actually want and use.
For app developers, this may be a bad sign, but we believe it signals a maturing of the consumer base that presents an opportunity for solid ideas that solve real life problems. If there’s an app for that, we’ll take it.