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Why the Holiday Season Could Help Boost Mobile App Sales

17th December 2016

As of June 2016, Android users had access to around 2.2 million apps on the Google Play store, while iOS users had access to 2 million. In 2015, mobile internet penetration worldwide surpassed half the world’s population, and with that user growth comes growth in the creation and use of apps. The app industry continues to grow rapidly, and though it’s basically impossible to know how many apps are out there, it’s approaching 5 million.

The holidays can be an excellent time for One to launch their mobile apps, though there are many things to consider before committing to a December launch window. Here’s what you should know about launching your mobile app around the holidays.

People Travel Extensively Around the Holidays

One reason you can make an impact by releasing your app around the holidays is that many people travel during that time. Whether they’re stuck in a car for hours, or navigating airports and layovers, people want something to do, and apps can fill that need perfectly. These don’t have to be games, though they’re popular for bored people stuck in airports. Travel-related apps are also popular, as are nutrition and exercise apps.

Lots of People Get Phones for Christmas

Another reason a Christmas launch for your mobile app makes sense is that plenty of people receive phones and other mobile devices as presents. Once the wrapping paper is all in piles on the living room floor, phone recipients are naturally going to want to load up their new devices with cool apps. And chances are, they’re off work and have more time than usual to see what kinds of apps are out there.

New Year’s Resolutions Can Prompt Mobile App Downloads

Whether or not they receive a new phone for Christmas, many people are already looking toward the new year and the “blank slate” appeal of starting new habits once the calendar turns over. If your app speaks to self-improvement, by addressing fitness, nutrition, learning, or some other aspect of making life better, you could enjoy high download rates as people vow to make the next year a better one.

Drawbacks to Holiday App Launches

Mobile app launches during the holidays aren’t guaranteed to be successful, however. During certain time windows, you simply can’t, since Apple shutters its App Store to submissions for the week of Christmas. And even if you can beat this deadline, if you release a mobile app that has bugs, you won’t have a chance to fix things until the App Store opens back up, and this could negatively affect your rating.

Another reason to evaluate the wisdom of a Christmas app launch is that you’ll have plenty of competition, as most of the big app studios and plenty of independent app developers look to grab some of the business generated by travel and mobile devices given as gifts. Waiting until after the holidays may be especially wise if your app is similar to some of the big-name apps. Lots of developers update apps around Christmas too, so you’re competing with them as well.

Whenever Your Launch, Be Certain to Do it Right

Whenever you choose to launch your mobile app, you should understand that more is involved than just submitting it to the relevant app providers. Not only should you have specific goals for your app in terms of downloads and sales, you need to claim social media accounts for your app, create original content about it, perhaps record an app demonstration for YouTube, and pitch your app to industry and popular media.

Christmas can be a great time to deploy a hot new mobile app, as long as you understand what people are looking for at that time of year, and as long as you understand the rules on when you can and cannot submit apps to stores. App download rates usually increase appreciably during the holiday season, but you can count on competition being somewhat stronger than during other times of the year too, so weigh your options carefully.


Squareball Studios (SBS), is a creative, design, and development agency of mobile applications and software systems. We have helped develop solutions for Fortune 500 companies and partnering with startups on initial ideas and seeing them succeed.

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