App Store decreased in size for the first time according to a report released by Appfigures. The total number of iOS apps was reduced by about 5% or from 2.2 million at the start of the year down to 2.1 million by the end of the year. This change is due in part to Apple’s stricter review guidelines and the elimination of old apps that have not been updated to support 64-bit architecture.
The removal of iOS apps that are outdated or no longer used has been going on since 2016. Apps were removed that didn’t meet Apple’s regulations or no longer worked as originally intended. In 2017, App Store removed clones and spam apps which caused the number of removed apps to number in the hundreds of thousands.
However, stricter regulations and removal of old apps are not the only reason for the decrease in the number. In the past few years, both App Store and Google Play have consistently grown up until 2017. In 2017, Google Play released more than 1.5 million apps, which was about a 17% increase. However, App Store released just 755,000 new apps in 2017, which was a 29% drop from the previous year and the first drop since it launched in 2008.
Another cause for the lack of growth is the apps that are being built to run on a different platform. More than twice as many apps came to the Android platform then came over to the iOS platform. Because it is difficult to run an app on both platforms, especially for smaller developers, some developers could be choosing to run on just one platform.
The full report by Appfigures can be viewed here.