App downloads up 83% on strong iPhone 4S sales

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iPhone app downloads in the U.S. during November saw an 83 percent rise from a year ago, while the aggregate volume of the Top 200 ranked free apps for Apple's handset grew to 5.65 million downloads per day.

In a report released on Wednesday, mobile app marketing research firm Fiksu found that the launch of the iPhone 4S greatly impacted the volume of downloaded apps, boosting year-to-year numbers in November by 83 percent.

Fiksu's App Store Competitive Index, which tracks the aggregate volume of downloads for the Top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S., soared to a record 5.65 million downloads per day in November and marked the first time the index rose above 5 million. The new all-time high represents a 15 percent increase from the previous record of 4.91 million daily downloads set in October when Apple's latest iPhone 4S debuted.

The firm says the uptick was expected as device launches bring high interest from new owners, noting that their "appetite for app discovery and engagement is strong."

Demand for Apple's newest handset, which remained strong a month after its release on Oct. 14 with numerous Apple Stores seeing stock-outs, undoubtedly played a role in the swelling tide of daily downloads. Another key factor in November's continued growth was the rapid adoption of iOS 5 and its subsequent app updates.

While the App Store Competitive Index illustrated the increase of app downloads, the Cost per Loyal User Index revealed that app marketing teams have become increasingly shrewd in their ad spending.

In November, brands that market their apps spent an average of $1.43 to acquire a "loyal user," who are defined as people who open an app three times or more. The price per loyal user saw a steady decline in September and October with costs standing at $1.64 and $1.47, respectively.

Fiksu Index 2

Fiksu expects that download numbers will only rise in December to reflect a record-setting Christmas day that saw 6.8 million new iOS and Android device activations.