Skip to Content

Deconstructing download statistics of a Mobile App

Not too long ago in advising an enterprise looking to develop mobile apps I was asked what download statistics are available on the respective Apple and Google Play app stores.  Here I am referring to the statistics seen from the app publisher’s perspective, which are not visible to the general public.  And in this context I am referring to apps downloaded via the Apple and Google app stores, not deployed via any device management platform.  At the same time, SAP Mentor Richard Hirsch recently posted an interesting blog analyzing the popularity and estimated download statistics of SAP’s own mobile apps.  So I decided it was an opportune time to share the statistics from one of my own published apps and give the community insights into what the respective mobile platform providers provide in statistical views (without purchasing third party analytics), and also to give insights into the SAP ecosystem itself.

For the purposes of this blog, I am sharing the statistics for a free app which I published a few years ago, myHelp for SAP Professionals.  This app is somewhat dated now, but for the purposes of this analysis it is useful because I had developed and published it separately for both the iOS and Android platforms and have several years of statistics accumulated.  At the time of writing, the app has recorded 24,255 iOS downloads (since Sep 2010), and 23,758 Android downloads (since June 2011). 

My experiences with building the original app are documented in the following blogs …

iPhone App for searching HELP.SAP.COM

An Android App for searching HELP.SAP.COM

iOS Statistics

iOS Developers access their download statistics by logging into the iOS Developer Center and accessing the iTunes Connect ‘Sales and Trends’ dashboard.  Note that alternatively Apple have made available an iOS App (of course) which displays similar views.  The screenshots below are those taken from the desktop (browser) version.

Daily / Weekly / Monthly / Yearly download statistics are available.  Below are some (not all) of those views …

Daily View

iOS Daily View.png

Monthly View

iOS Monthly View.png

– Notice the January spike (~900 installs) …. did people receive an iPhone for Xmas? 

Breakdown by Market (statistics below are for the year 2011)

iOS Country View.png

–  Note that one shortfall of the reporting here is that Apple accumulates totals at most for each full year.  Through these views it sadly does not provide cumulative totals across years.

–  Notice for iOS the dominance of the US market, followed by Germany and then the United Kingdom.  This gives an insight into the iOS market for the SAP ecosystem.

Android Statistics

Android Developers access their download statistics via the Google Play Developer Console.  At the outset I must say that the reporting for Android Apps is much richer and superior than that provided by Apple for iOS.

Here are some (not all) sample views …

Daily Installs View

Android daily installs View.png

Total Installs View

Android total installs View.png

–  Note the steady trend line.  Without any active advertising, this Android app seems to have a steady download rate of ~ 50 downloads per day.

Total Active Installs View

Android total active installs View.png

–  9416 Active Installs.  This is a humbling statistic.  You see, Google detects if someone uninstalls your app.  So Active Installs records the number of devices which still have your app installed.  Notice that more than 50% of devices which installed the app subsequently deleted it at some stage (clearly this app is not as useful as Angry Birds).  Although from this post I am thinking that ratio is not unusual.

Market View

Android Market View.png

– Note the dominance of India here for this SAP-related Android App.  Contrast that with the statistics I showed earlier for iOS.  And also contrast that with the general statistics provided by Google for ‘All Apps in Business’ category where typically the US market would dominate.  I am wondering if in this case this points to the large SAP ecosystem in India.

Device View

Android Device View.png

–  I feel the above statistics point to the fractured nature of the Android device market (which can be problematic from a developers perspective).  Notice the category ‘Others’ at 64.55% is significant, and that the greatest share by any one device is only 10.89%.

Android Version View

Android Version View.png

Final Comments

When comparing the various statistical views offered by Apple for iOS and Google for Android, the Google views are far superior.  I find it astounding that the Apple dashboards do not provide a cumulative total of downloads since the app was released (you need to manually view totals for each year, and summate them).

One interesting tool which Richard Hirsch used in his recent blog was, which can provide an estimate of downloads for an app without having access to the actual download statistics.  Lets compare how well that tool performed in this instance …

Actual Downloads estimate of Downloads
iOS version of ‘myHelp for SAP Professionals’ 24,255 3,000
Android version of ‘myHelp for SAP Professionals’ 23,758 11,800

Of course, Richard had no way to check the accuracy of that site.  But looking at the estimates generated by for my own app, I would suggest it is far from reliable.

Interestingly, I didn’t actually expect myHelp for SAP Professionals to still be in the app stores in the year 2013.  When I first published it I had expected SAP to publish an official app within a few years, allowing me to retire my version.  Lets hope we see something from SAP soon …. please.

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
  • Great blog and love those charts. 

    I assume that SAP has the same data available regarding their own mobile apps on the various stores. I also assume that we won't be seeing that data any time soon which is too bad - it would be great to find out SAP's mobile apps are actually more popular than the estimated download counts imply.

    As you suggest, download counts are just estimates so they can't compare to the real download counts provided to the developers themselves. Although the download counts I mention might not be accurate, my final observation regarding the quantity of apps provided by various vendors is still valid.


    • Hi Dick,

      Thanks.  Yes I don't expect SAP to share their own data.  Note also that where the apps are deployed by an enterprise via their own enterprise mobile app store (which may well be the case), the deployment statistics won't appear in the generic Apple or Google statistics.  What would be really interesting when it comes to SAP's own apps is sales data by app in terms of units sold.

      In relation to your own blog, I agree your final observations are still very valid.



  • Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing your own data with the wider community, it is very interesting to see what is available and your commentary on the insights it provides into the SAP ecosystem on Android and iOS is good too.

    It is interesting that you seem to have that seasonal dip around the northern hemisphere summer in the apple store, maybe everyone went on holiday and left there phones a home. 😛

    While the Android device stats may show the fractured nature of that ecosystem, there is something nice about the variety and choice available too.

    Thanks again,

    • Thanks Simon,

      Yes the range of Android devices is great from a consumers perspective.  It can be troublesome from a developers perspective (catering for such a wide variety of form factors etc.).  Of course, both platforms have their pros and cons, and I don't want this to open up THAT debate!  And I haven't even mentioned Windows 8, Blackberry etc.