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Worldwide iOS App Store App Removals Increased 238% in October

The early results of Apple's move to purge broken and unsupported apps from the App Store are in.

2016 App Store Purge Hero Image

When Apple announced what many considered a long-overdue culling of broken and unsupported apps from the App Store two months ago, the September 7 deadline to shape up or face removal came and went without any apparent action on the platform holder's part. While it may have taken a few more weeks to be felt, Sensor Tower research has revealed that app removals from the store increased approximately 238 percent in October over the monthly average for 2016 through last month. Read on for more on how this compared to previous months, and to learn which categories were most affected by what may be just the first round of removals.

Games Led Removed Apps Considerably

As illustrated by the chart below, there were approximately 47,300 apps removed from the App Store last month. This was 3.4 times the monthly average of 14,000 for January through September. All of these figures include apps removed by Apple and their publishers, but the dramatic increase in removals just weeks after the deadline passed can only be the result of Cupertino's custodians dropping the axe on what they determined to be faulty abandonware.

Chart of Apps Removed From The App Store By Month From January To October 2016

Breaking down our 47,300 figure by category, we found that the App Store's largest group of apps, Games, was unsurprisingly the most affected at approximately 28 percent of apps removed last month. Entertainment and Books were nearly tied for a distant second at 8.99 and 8.96 percent, respectively. Rounding out the top five most-affected categories were Education at 7 percent and Lifestyle at 6 percent.

We don't suspect this is the end of Apple's fall cleaning, something that comes after years of complaints from users regarding broken and sometimes deceptive apps. In fact, as the App Store continues its growth to more than five million apps by 2020, we may very well see this become a yearly—if not ongoing—part of app publishing within the iOS ecosystem.

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Randy Nelson

Written by: Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights

Date: November 2016