Study: Free iPhone Apps Quickly Gather Dust

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A new study highlights what could be the iPhone version of attention-deficit disorder. A day after a free iPhone app is downloaded, there’s only a 20 percent chance it will used.

Possibly more disconcerting for Apple and iPhone developers: just 5 percent of free apps are used one month after downloaded – and nearly no free app is used after three months , according to data compiled by Pinch Media.

The tracking data was announced at an iPhone Developers Meetup in New York by Pinch Media CEO Greg Yardley.

Paid applications have an advantage over free applications, according to Yardley’s talk.

Free ad-supported iPhone apps need to earn $8.75 per thousand to equal the revenue from paid apps. However, such free iPhone apps garner between $0.50 and $2 per CPM, according to Pinch Media.

“Unless there’s something inherent about the app that screems ‘free,’ sell it,” Yardley said.

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Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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