The apps that get featured on the iOS App Store

Dave Addey
10 July, 2013
View more articles fromthe author

Over the past few months, I’ve been researching the kinds of apps that get featured on the iTunes App Store home page for different countries around the world. Here are my initial findings.

In this article, you’ll spot certain bits of text highlighted in yellow. Clicking or tapping on these will display extra information about the methodology I’ve used in the reports. You’ll also see bits of text highlighted in blue. These automatically change the relevant graph to show the data referred to by the highlighted text.

Important note. I’ve only been looking at the kinds of apps that get featured on the store. This isn’t an assessment of how many copies of each app are sold, or how much money apps make, or how many apps there are on the store. It’s just about the apps that are editorially selected for feature on the Store’s home page by the App Store editorial team.

Games versus non-games

One of the most notable things about the Store is just how many games get featured. Only 16.8 percent of the apps on the Store are games, and yet they make up about half of the apps featured on App Store home pages worldwide.

The graph below shows the percentage of unique app features that are/are not games , compared against the percentage of apps on the Store that are/are not games. You can view the results for different stores and different device types using the two drop-down menus in the graph’s title.

The highest percentage overall is in the Republic of Korea, where a whopping 64.4 percent of features on iPhone are for games. The lowest is the Austria/Germany Store, with only 36.3% on iPhone, although that’s still more than double the proportion of apps on the store overall. One thing’s for sure – games are special.

Features by genre

Next, let’s look at the distribution of featured apps by genre outside of games. The bars below show the percentage of unique app features in each genre, once games have been removed. Features for free apps are shown in green and features for paid apps are shown in red.

There’s quite a bit of variance in the charts. The Austria/Germany store has a particular skew towards lifestyle apps on iPhone, most of which are free. Brazil is big on music, and the Republic of Korea has a huge focus on iPad education apps – something also seen in Japan and China. News and Lifestyle apps are featured regularly, and most of those featured are free (see Switzerland for a particular example).

Features by genre – variance

The previous chart showed the number of app features per genre. However, this distribution could be due in part to the App Store containing a particularly high number of apps in certain genres, rather than a bias towards a particular country featuring a particular genre unusually often.

The next chart shows how the proportion of app features per genre varies from the overall proportion of apps on the store. Effectively, this chart shows those Stores where a genre is featured more often (or less often) than the number of apps in that category would lead you to expect.

Business apps fare poorly worldwide, at least relative to how many have been submitted to the Store. Brazil’s music and productivity features are higher than would be expected; the same can be said for the Spanish-language store. The Republic of Korea’s focus on education apps is notable as before, and there’s a slight trend towards finance apps in West Asia. And the photo and video category is featured more than average in all countries, most notably in East Asia.

Games by genre

All games apps fall into one of 19 sub-categories. This next chart shows the proportion of featured apps in each games sub-category as they appear in each store. Again, free apps are in green and paid apps are in red.

There’s not much variance from country to country within the games sub-genres, at least not when compared to the main genres above. Action is the most featured overall, with adventure, arcade and puzzle the next most commonly featured in all territories.

by Dave Addey @daveaddey, Macworld

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us