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Apple's clones crackdown leads to App Store shrinking

Number of new iOS releases drops for the first time since marketplace launched in 2008

The iOS App Store is shrinking, thanks to Apple's increased efforts to combat developers releasing copied games into its ecosystem.

Research by mobile analyst Appfigures shows that the number of apps available on the App Store actualy shrunk by five per cent in 2017, dropping from around 2.2 million to approximately 2.1 million.

This is in part due to "stricter enforcement of Apple's review guidelines", but also down to the number of older apps that were removed after failing to update to iOS's 64-bit architecture.

However, it's also worth noting that fewer mobile developers brought their products to iOS last year. Only 755,000 new apps were released in 2017, whereas just over one million debuted in 2016.

This is a year-on-year decline of 29 per cent, and the first time the number of new apps has dropped since the store first launched in 2008.

Apple's principal rival Google, meanwhile, has enjoyed another year of growth, with more than 1.5 million new apps released to the Google Play Store in 2017.

This brings the number of apps on Google's marketplace up to 3.6 million, a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent.

Several iOS developers are also branching out into the Android ecosystem, with roughly 17,000 apps ported to Google Play - more than twice the number of Android apps that were ported to iOS.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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