The iOS App Store Shrank for the First Time in 2017

Last year, Apple removed hundreds of thousands of scammy and low-quality apps from the App Store. It also tightened the rules and regulations on the App Store that led to the removal of many apps and also phased out 32-bit apps from the App Store. The result of all this?

As per App Figures, this led to the App Store shrinking in 2017 to 2.1 million apps — a 5 percent decrease from 2.2 million apps that were available at the beginning of 2017.

The decline is not just because of Apple cleaning up the App Store though. Developers released fewer apps on the App Store as well — just 755,000 apps which is a 29 percent drop. This is the first drop ever reported since the App Store launched in 2008. However, as has usually been the case, most high profile games and apps first made their debut on iOS before becoming available on Android.

In comparison, the Google Play Store saw developers add over 1.5 million apps to it in 2017 taking the total tally to 3.6 million.

The difference between Google and Apple here is that the latter prioritized quality over quantity. Apple’s clean up of the App Store led to a removal of plenty of low-quality apps or apps that were not updated for a very long time. This was a much-needed cleanup that will help improve the overall experience of using the App Store.

The company also removed template apps and due to government regulations, it was forced to remove VPN apps from the App Store in certain regions. So, while yes, the App Store did shrink for the first time in 2017, it was for the overall good. The removal of most of these apps would have hardly had any impact on existing iPhone users.

[Via App Figures]