Both Google and Apple rely on its individual app stores as an added selling point for its smartphone products, because what's a smartphone without the apps? Simply banking on a huge library, however, is only a small part of the equation.
Apps need to have an inherent retention power. They must provide enough features and perform excellently in order to remain situated in a user's app tray. It seems as if Android is failing to pinion itself strongly in this regard, at least compared with iOS. The reason might not be what we would expect.
More Apps Uninstalled On Android Than iOS
A new report from analytics platform AppsFlyer tackles this wholesale, with findings culled from 500 tracked apps on 20 million devices between September and October.
According to the data, three out of 10 apps will eventually be uninstalled, which is an interesting bit of data in and of itself, but one that became more interesting once AppsFlyer parsed it down to the two major platforms: Android and iOS, which sees Android suffer double the uninstall rate than that on iOS.
The findings also suggest that the United States has the lowest record of uninstalled apps of all the countries that were included in the research, while emerging markets where inexpensive, entry-level smartphones dominate the market, feature the highest uninstall rates.
The same report also pits Android users as 43 percent more likely to uninstall a mobile game than iOS users, which enjoyed a considerably lower rate at 13 percent.
Limited Storage Space
The reason for this is surprisingly simple. According to to AppsFlyer, the problem is limited storage space.
iPads and iPhones typically have more internal storage compared with the average Android device. Apple products come with standard storage options often starting with 32 GB and up, while Android phones vary greatly.
So before you spur any unnecessary debates with regards to which app store features the better selection of apps or a better audience, know that the research pins storage space as the primary facet of uninstall behavior. It wasn't able to touch on other factors such as incentivized installs, rate of in-app purchases, general cleanliness of an app store or even the dullness of apps, which are just few examples that influence install and uninstall behavior on both platforms.
Android Instant Apps
What would happen to Android's current percentage of uninstalled apps when Instant Apps begin rolling out widely? For the uninitiated, Instant Apps give users the same features of a particular app without installing it.
Since storage is the main problem according to AppsFlyer's research, how would Instant Apps affect app retention for Android users? That remains to be seen when Google finally pushes it out for everyone, but right now, at least we know why so many Android users uninstall apps.