One in four mobile apps not used more than once


It seems that even though owners of smartphones tend to download mobile apps frequently, they are very likely to drop them only after a single use.

According to Localytics, a quarter of apps downloaded were abandoned in 2015, an increase from 204 when only 20% of apps suffered the same fate. The number of apps opened 11 or more times also dropped to 34% from 39% a year earlier.

A quarter of apps abandoned by users

Abandonment by games players tends to be especially high, though hit games can be among the most popular items on users’ home screens.

Smartphone owners in the USA appear to be more loyal than those outside the country. In the US, the percentage of frequently-opened apps increased by one percent to 42%, something that might be caused by the amount of advertising that tries to get customers to reopen the apps they have installed. The number of apps opened just once in the US was 19%, the same as last year.

But outside the US, app abandonment was much higher, especially in China. There, 37% of apps were opened just once, a large increase from last year’s 26%.

Localytics says that several factors are likely, such as improving networks that allow more app downloads, and the impact of messaging platform WeChat.

“With many brands choosing to use WeChat instead of developing their own native app and WeChat also extending into commerce services, the need for other apps is decreasing quickly”, Localytics said.

Here are some chart for the US, China and Global app retention:

App Retention Global 2015

App Retention China 2015

App Retention USA 2015

SOURCE: Re/Code.



  1. That’s exactly why I get several free-apps-for-a-day feeds and I’m on a couple of sites that notify me when apps I watch become free. I’d like to have the money I’ve spent over the years on things I used once. I could probably buy a house.

  2. Ray Gregory on

    Would totally agree with research & maybe even understates retention/non user rate. Have just recently “cleaned” my phone, but still left some apps that don’t use, just in case might do!!

  3. but Google put this stuff on your phone and you cant get it off
    more and more and I dont use any of it