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For App Makers, Christmas is the Biggest Day of the Year

Mobile app companies are looking forward to record sales on Christmas Day, but startups need clever tactics to take customers away from deep-pocketed competitors.
App designers work at Raizlabs.

Rejoice, mobile application developers: Christmas Day is set to break download records this year.

According to San Francisco-based mobile analytics firm Flurry, 328 million smartphone and tablet apps were downloaded on December 25, 2012--a 36 percent increase from 2011 and the highest number ever for a single day. With 30 percent of Americans expected to download at least one app tomorrow, according to a Harris survey, 2013 is likely to set a new record.

Christmas has become the biggest app sales day of the year, Bloomberg reports, calling it "the equivalent of a Black Friday for retailers or a Cyber Monday for e-commerce companies."

"One of the first things you do when you get a shiny new present is you want to take it for a test run," Marcos Sanchez, vice president at app-download tracking company App Annie, tells Bloomberg. "It's the magical trifecta of something new, time to waste, and wanting to fill your time with fun stuff."

With Google Play and Apple's App Store each offering more than a million apps, mobile app developers need to come up with effective strategies to improve their ratings and get their products noticed. Bloomberg reports that some companies cut prices to attract new customers, change their apps' titles, or push for press coverage.

But big companies like Disney and video game maker Electronic Arts spend huge amounts of money on digital ads to get better app store rankings and more downloads. SuperData, a video game market research firm in New York, says that it costs companies about $2.30 to acquire one iPhone gamer in December--more than double the cost this past summer.


Last updated: Dec 24, 2013

WILL YAKOWICZ | Staff Writer | Reporter,

Will Yakowicz is a staff writer for Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and local politics for The Brooklyn Paper and was the editor of Park Slope Patch. He has also reported on the West Bank and Moscow for Tablet Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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