Apple-commissioned report shows third-party apps outperform Apple’s own

Apple has commissioned a report from economists at Analysis Group that took a look at how third-party apps fare in comparison to Apple’s own built-in apps on the App Store.

The report took a look at apps in a range of categories including music streaming, mapping, and video streaming.

Since the App Store’s launch more than a decade ago, the number of third-party apps has grown from 500 to more than 1.8 million — compared to 60 apps offered by Apple (first-party apps). Today, more than 99.99 percent of iOS apps are made by third-party developers, fueling a growing and competitive marketplace that contributes to a dynamic experience for users to the benefit of Apple and third-party developers alike.

Some of the highlights from the report are below:

  • Third-party apps are the only options for consumers for entire types of apps, including social networking, dating services, travel planning, and food and drink.
  • Leaders in app types often vary across countries, with many regional leaders outperforming their globally competitive counterparts.
  • Third-party apps are the most popular among iPhone users in most regions for major app types, including music streaming, TV and movie streaming, reading, communication, and mapping apps.
  • Across many app types, Apple’s own apps account for a relatively small share of app usage among iPhone users. This is the case even though some Apple apps are preinstalled to enable core functionality of the device.
  • iPhone users often use multiple apps within a single category, especially apps for communicating, reading the news, watching videos, or navigating — underscoring how easily users can switch between apps and the breadth of opportunity for developers.

The report goes into a little more detail with some of the most popular apps. It shows that Spotify, Google Maps, and Netflix all experience greater usage than the competing Apple apps.

Apple is clearly trying to push back on anti-competition criticism. Many have argued that Apple’s pre-installed apps give it an unfair advantage and a bit of monopoly over which apps users choose on their iPhones. The report that Apple has put together intends to put a hole in that argument.

Will it work? That depends on what regulators think.

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