Apple has a lot of nifty apps for its iPhone, but apparently the novelty wears off in a hurry. A new analysis shows that many people download them, then promptly forget about them, Apple Insider reports. Just 20% of people use free apps the day after download; at the end of the month, it's down to 5%; after 3 months, it's virtually nil. The numbers for paid apps were only slightly better.
Because of the low repeat use, developers are probably better off selling their apps rather than giving them away for free and relying on ads for revenue. “The typical application would have to bombard its users with ads to beat the money it'd make from paid sales,” said the CEO of the survey group. "Unless there's something inherent about the app that screams free, sell it.” Games are by far the most returned-to apps. (Read more iPhone apps stories.)