iOS Devs Ship 29 Percent Fewer Apps in 2017

It's the first ever decline for the Apple platform

Credit: Apple

Developers are shipping fewer games for iOS, according to analytics and insights company Appfigures, marking the first ever decline in growth for Apple's platform since it launched in 2008.

Appfigures is a reporting platform for mobile app developers that collects store sales, ad data, worldwide reviews, and hourly rank updates. It says both the Apple App Store and Google Play grew consistently up until 2017, then they split. Google Play continues to grow at a rate of about 30 percent, shipping an estimated 1.5 million new apps last year alone. Apple's App Store released 775,000 new apps, a 29 percent drop year over year.

"At the end of 2017, there were roughly 2.1 million iOS apps available in the App Store, a decrease of five percent when compared to the 2.2 million apps that were available in the beginning of the year," Appfigures says.

So why the drop? Appfigures cites a number of reasons, including stricter enforcement of Apple's review guidelines and the elimination of many older apps that don't support 64-bit architecture. But it says favoring quality over quantity, while admirable, isn't the only reason for the decline. Developers are also porting fewer apps to iOS.

"More than twice as many iOS apps came to Android in 2017 than Android apps came into the App Store," it says.

"Building and maintaining an app for multiple platforms can be a real burden," it adds, "especially for indie developers and small teams."