App Store Analysis

The Canalys App Store Analysis service is specifically designed to provide intelligence and ongoing comprehensive analytical support to help executives responsible for determining, implementing or managing an organization’s app store strategy to make better decisions. It allows clients to gain a useful and informed external perspective on trends within the industry, with actionable advice on how best to exploit or react to them. Clients can also use Canalys’ global analyst team as a sounding board for their own plans and activities.

App stores have to appeal to two critical groups to succeed: developers and end users. Companies running app stores must drive strategies that encourage and entice broad developer engagement, without compromising on the quality of the experience delivered to end users. An app store’s success will therefore depend on how well it manages and performs in seven key areas:

  • App inventory
  • Discoverability
  • App Lifecycles
  • Payment
  • Business Support Services for Developers
  • Technical Support Services for Developers
  • Reach

The service addresses core best practice challenges in each of these seven areas, alongside wider issues such as:

Strategic choices

  • Should a company build its own solution or work with partners, and which hardware and software platforms should be supported?
  • How can you deliver business value and a return on investment?
  • How should your store evolve to incorporate the needs of different devices and end users?

App store best practice

  • How can stores optimize discoverability and purchase triggers?
  • How can you encourage customer engagement?
  • What business and technical services should you provide to developers?
  • How can you attract and retain developers?
  • What are the growth areas?

Business models, competition and differentiation

  • What are the leading competitors' strategies, strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the challenges around localization, billing and payments, licensing and regulation?
  • How important are different types and categories of apps in different stores, and in different markets around the world?
  • How important is the freemium model and why has it become so prevalent?
  • What is the global app store revenue opportunity today and in the next five years?
  • How is the revenue being generated, and how is the mix between paid downloads, in-app purchasing, advertising, etc, charging?
  • How will developments around HTML5 impact the apps and app store landscape?

Enterprise app stores

  • What is the enterprise store opportunity and how should you address it?
  • Are there successful enterprise app store models in place today, and what is the motivation or business model behind them?
  • What specific features and tools are essential for an enterprise app store to work?

App stores on new platforms

  • What added value does an app store bring to a connected TV?
  • What are the specific challenges faced by connected TV app store providers?
  • What is the opportunity for third-party PC store providers?
  • What impact will Windows 8 have on the app store space?

This continuous service provides clients with a stream of deep-thinking, recommendation-rich analysis and insights around the key issues, questions and decisions faced by those working in the app store area. It offers clients a wide range of qualitative deliverables, with flexibility offered by uncapped inquiry support and analyst-led best practice workshops.


The service is global in scope, highlighting trends from around the world, and spans the full range of mobile devices, from feature phones to smart phones and tablets, as well as covering PC and smart television app stores. In this regard, it draws on and complements Canalys' leadership position in closely monitoring the shipments, uptake and usage of mobile devices and PCs. The service also includes analysis relating to enterprise app stores, in addition to consumer-facing stores. The focus of the standard deliverables shifts to track client interest and always remain relevant.

The service has an international client base, which includes leading international app store providers, smaller boutique and enterprise app store providers, device vendors and mobile operators, as well as some large content providers.

Written analytical reports and pulses

The service provides a regular stream of written analysis focused on the wide range of strategic and business-oriented issues affecting those responsible for app store strategies. Our short and easy-to-read reports include in-depth analysis of individual stores, discussion and perspective on pertinent developments in the mobile space around applications and app stores particularly, and analysis and insight around business models, best practice in store design and management, and strategic decisions for prospective app store providers.

The body of reports available in the App Store Analysis service offers a clear, independent external perspective on a range of important issues affecting the apps and app store space. Our reports are recommendation-rich, incorporating actionable advice for clients around how they can improve their own store offerings or underlying app store strategies. This advice can be customized through the client inquiry facility.

App store experience index

To be successful, a consumer app store has to attract and cater to two crucial constituent groups: users and developers. The Canalys app store experience index is a unique tool which indicates how well various leading app stores are managing to deliver excellent experiences to users and developers. Canalys assesses how well app stores fulfill the various requirements and engagement drivers of both groups, with analysts considering and rating more than 250 factors. These are weighted according to their relative importance and the scores are combined and plotted on the experience index chart. This can provide useful insights into the strengths, weaknesses and priorities for improvement in the leading stores, with implications and best practice lessons highlighted.

Best practice analyst workshops

Using the same unique methodology used to produce app store experience indexes, Canalys also offers service clients the opportunity to participate in a customized analyst-led workshop. These interactive half-day sessions involve a Canalys analyst talking through the key factors used to assess stores, revealing and discussing how the client’s store measures up, and creating an ‘action list’ of priorities for improvement in store design, management or implementation. The format is designed to provide an open discussion forum of what aspects are good, what elements are bad, and what urgently needs improvement in a client’s app store in a particular country.

Alternatively, clients can use a workshop session to cover a range of issues that they might wish to brainstorm or debate. These may include questions, for example, around the future and importance of web apps versus native apps, how to improve app discoverability or the merits of various business models. Analyst workshops are typically face-to-face sessions and are tailored as far as possible to the client's needs and requirements.

Inquiry support

As with all Canalys services, the App Store Analysis service includes uncapped inquiry access to our responsive team of analysts around the world. This provides the opportunity for clients to customize the service to their own requirements, using Canalys analysts as an external sounding board for their own app store strategies or perspectives, asking questions around trends and developments in the market, and seeking particular advice, recommendations or insight around any app store-related subject. Canalys analysts always strive to offer insightful answers to client questions wherever possible and work hard to respond within 24 hours.


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