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App Store stats suggest humans have attention span of gnats

Chris Ziegler

Did you put down Rolando after a mere 10 minutes of play time, never to touch it again? You're a cold, soulless person with nary a fun bone in your body, but you may not be alone. Pinch Media, whose analytics engine can be used to track the performance of participating iPhone apps, has found that merely 30 percent of people purchasing iPhone apps use them the next day, and free apps clock in at a miserable 20 percent. Over the long run, loyal users dwindle to just a single percent of downloaders -- and this is where it gets strange: free apps get used a whopping 6.6 times as often as paid apps, which may not bode well for devs looking to make a decent living off the App Store, Windows Marketplace, Ovi Store, Android Market, and the million other mobile software store initiatives coming up over the next year. It's likely a testament to the fact that your average free app is simpler (and possibly more indispensable day in and day out) than your average paid app -- which means we should all be paying $15 for tip calculators and $25 for speed dialers.

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