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App Size Defines App Reach

70% of people in emerging markets consider app size before installing the application.


Shifali Bharti

There are over 2.8 million apps on the Google Play Store today. The overall competitiveness of the app industry is intense and a critical insight that app developers ignore tends to make the situation worse. 

That there is a negative correlation between app size and the install conversion rate for apps with sizes below 100MB. 


Now, many people will not install your app when this message pops up on their screen. A major reason for this hindrance to customer acquisition is the lack of awareness of the role ‘app size’ plays in markets, especially emerging markets. 

Application size is a crucial factor people consider when they go to the Play Store to download an application. The smaller the application, the better it is.  

Heavy applications come with high data usage while downloading, more download time, and a high amount of device space. It reduces the chance for your application to get the reach that it easily could with a more reasonable size. 

According to a report published by SensorTower, the top downloaded app sizes have increased by over 1.000x over the past decade. A similar report from Forbes indicates that cell data download speed on the other hand has increased by 20% year on year. To further complicate the issue, the gap in download app size versus download speed tends to widen in developing countries where network coverage is not an absolute certainty due to a lack of strong investment and low compliance issues. This has an impact on how user behavior starts strongly shifting its weight behind smaller apps. This has been observed in developing markets where data access can be as much as 3.5x more costly than in the US, Europe, or China. 


In emerging big markets like India, access to unlimited or reliable internet connections is sparse. People in rural areas are very less likely to have a wi-fi connection as compared to people in urban areas. Not to mention, unlimited data plans aren’t affordable for everyone.  

Even if your app works offline, or you use cache it doesn’t matter. Millions of people with smartphones in their hands have limited access to data and if your app costs them 2GB of data there are very less chances they are going to install it. App size and install rates are certainly co-related and it is a fact. 

Facebook and Uber were compelled to come up with a ‘lite’ version of their apps in emerging markets when they accepted the above-mentioned ground reality. Though that app size and bandwidth usage reduction obviously come with tradeoffs. For example; Uber’s lite app version requires more effort from the backend team to support the low bandwidth use cases. Also, reduced customer functionality leads to less revenue per customer. Hence, a lite version isn’t sure the solution. 

Hashbrown Systems design robust mobile applications that drive high performance. The apps are built with not only the end-user and business in mind but variable network connectivity across geographies, interoperability with legacy frameworks, enterprise security protocols, and compatibility with various screen sizes and versions of OS installed across various devices. Furthermore, with direct access to device APIs, the applications developed in the native framework demonstrate the best run time performance.  

Click to learn more about Hashbrown Systems’ mobile application development services and app development solutions.  

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