Instapaper is a popular app for iOS based devices. Due to the popularity of it, it always manages to hold a decent rank in the News category. That rank is constantly between number 2 and 5.
With the steady rank and popularity, it manages to give the owner, Marco, a good look in to various spikes that iOS devices get in sales. For example, when the iPad launches in a new country, a spike happens on Instapaper downloads. Likewise, when the NYT had a large feature in December about the iPhone, Instapaper downloads spiked (2.86 times to be exact).
With these spikes, Marco is able to see a bit of what goes on in the app store in general. A couple of weeks ago, Apple released the Verizon iPhone 4, however, the traffic spike didn’t happen which leads Marco to believe that those buying the iPhone were in one of three categoeies. The graph below shows downloads of Instapaper with the large spike being Christmas day. Read on below for the three reasons:
1. Very few Verizon iPhones have been sold. I don’t think this is likely.
2. Verizon iPhone owners are buying very few apps relative to other iPhone owners. This also seems unlikely.
3. Most Verizon iPhones have been sold to existing iPhone or iPod Touch owners, who therefore already own most or all of the apps they want. This seems like the most likely explanation by far.
If number 3 is the case then it could explain why there was no spike in new downloads. The other reason could be that users are locked in to a contract or that they are patiently waiting for the iPhone 5 to launch.
It’s hard to know for sure if Marco’s reasoning is correct although with the popularity of his app, he does get an insight that most people in the world do not get to see.