App Size and Success in Apple’s Top Lists

This particular data set was requested by Imangi Studios to try to answer the question if application size affects a developer’s chances in reaching the Top 100 lists in the App Store.

I should warn you, however, that this data can’t actually answer that question, since correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

The reason the 10MB cutoff is so important to developers it that Apple restricts over the air (EDGE, 3G) downloads to applications <10MB in size. Otherwise, you need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot or download the app on your computer. Developers are quite aware of this and make special efforts to reduce the size of their applications to < 10MB if possible. The thinking is that you want to capture as many impulse purchases as possible from iPhone owners on the go.

So here's the data.

App Size in the Top 100 Paid Apps Over the Past 30 days

top100paid

Meanwhile, the percentage of all paid applications in the App Store that are <10MB is actually 86.2%. So there actually seems to be a negative correlation between app size and Top 100 ranking. Here's the data for the top 10:

App Size in the Top 10 Paid Apps Over the Past 30 days

top10paid
Note that while it looks like the trend is increasing, a look at the data over 90 days shows it’s cyclical.

With only 10 apps at a given time, this graph is going to be more affected by the flavor of the week in terms of iPhone apps, so take with a grain of salt.

So despite 86% of apps being less than 10MB, only ~60-70% of them make it into the top 100. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean anything by itself, as very low quality apps may also be very small apps. What I do think it means is that > 10MB is certainly not a death sentence for an app.

8 Comments

Alain Kornhauser

1. Aren’t top paid apps mostly apps that have just been released? If so, then is the cycle correlated with the size of the apps just released?
2. What the distribution for “top 10 paid apps that have been around for a while (say 1 month)?
3. What is the relationship between size and longevity of apps?

Fletch

I’m gonna guess that this correlation is brought about by the nature of <10mb apps, not their size. The simple, pick up and play games seem to be the biggest hits on the iDevices, and such games do not require much space…

apple

I have an ipod touch that has text free lite and i text people and they need to get my number on my ipod.

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