Report: iOS app cost-per-install 85% higher than Android

The average cost-per-install (CPI) of an iOS app is 85 percent higher than that of Android apps, according to InMobi. The company's State of Mobile App Downloads report is based on data from the second quarter of 2014, April 1 through June 30, on the InMobi network. The company uses a CPI index to calculate how much a developer or publisher would have to spend on mobile advertising to get a user to download something. The higher the CPI Index number, the more expensive for the developer. 

  • USA and China top the charts at 18 percent and 10 percent, respectively, in terms of share of app downloads. 
  • France is the most expensive amongst the top 10 app download nations with a CPI index of 176. Malaysia and Indonesia are the cheapest with a CPI index of 42.
  • Games at 64 percent of app download share was the overwhelming leader. Communication apps weren't far behind, ranking 2nd with 15 percent share of downloads.
  • App downloads are highest during weekends with Saturday leading the way. Tuesdays register the lower percentage of app downloads. 

"Downloads will grow 2.6 times in the next 4 years. This combined with the rising user acquisition costs makes for an increasingly competitive app market," the company said on its blog post accompanying the report's release. "App developers need to capitalize on this opportunity by investing time and energy to create effective user acquisition and monetization strategies to capitalize on this growing market."

As InMobi points out, a major contributing factor to CPI is another measurement: lifetime value of a user, or LTV. iOS may be expensive in part because developers tend to make more money in the long run with iPhone or iPad apps, so there might be a willingness to shell out more on advertising to get those users early. The recent launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be an interesting moment to see whether Apple's advantage in the developer monetization area will continue to grow. 

For more:
- download the report here

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