Only a fifth of users who download free applications from Apple's app store use the program the next day, according to data collected by iPhone analytics firm Pinch Media.
Among paid apps, the figure is only slightly higher. According to the data, collected from around 30 million downloads of several hundred applications, the drop-off rate for paid apps is around 70%. Only 1% of users who download an application become permanent users.
Cutting the price of paid apps increases demand by 130%, whereas raising the price drops demand by 25%. In general, sports apps were more likely to keep users' attention for more than a day, whereas utilities were the least likely to.
App developers can take solace in the fact that appearing on a top-100 list increases downloads by an average of 230%, and that appearing on a top-25 or top-10 list increases downloads by "orders of magnitude" further.
But this gain is temporary, Pinch warns, as the lists are updated every 24 hours. And whereas three months ago, an app only needed 1,500 downloads to appear on a top-100 list, today it needs 5,000 to make the grade. And appearing on a top-25 list requires 20,000 downloads, a figure that has doubled in six months.