Berlin (dpa) – Smartphone users can choose between a million apps, but most of those available for iOS, Android and Windows phones are never even seen by the wider public.
Some 83 per cent of apps can be defined as “zombie” apps, according a study by mobile analytics company Adjust.
The study applied that term to apps which failed to appear on a top list in Apple’s App Store on one third of the available days.
The number of apps available as at the end of 2014 was 1.4 million. With the ever-increasing number of apps on offer, the quantity of these zombie apps is also rising rapidly.
The problem for users is that the sheer number of apps makes it difficult to get an overview of what is available.
Apps can be searched by category – for example, productivity, navigation or weather. But depending on the category, it’s a tough task for developers to get their programs into the “top” lists.
The study of Undead Apps found categories like Business, Productivity and Games to be dominated by a few internationally successful applications, making it very difficult for newer apps to be discovered by users.
Other categories such as Navigation, Sports and Weather are less competitive and so have fewer zombies.
Apple’s App Store has been trying to manage the app flood through curated lists and recommendations, but with limited benefit so far.
In any case, the app stores are no longer the first choice for users when it comes to discovering new programs, according to the study.
Users instead are mainly influenced by media reports and recommendations from those around them.
Advertising also plays a big role in the battle for the smartphone screen, the study concludes.