Fiksu: iPhone app downloads drop 5% in April

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Downloads from Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store slipped 4.9 percent in April 2012, reaching their lowest level since the iPhone 4S launched last October, according to mobile user acquisition platform Fiksu.

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The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index, which measures the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps, reports that consumers downloaded an average of 4.23 million iPhone apps per day last month, down from 4.45 million a day in March. Fiksu's Cost per Loyal User Index, which measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps, increased by 12.3 percent in April to $1.46, up from $1.30 in March.

Fiksu said April's decline in iPhone app downloads was expected: "No major events sparked discovery during the month," said CEO Micah Adler.

Fiksu also credited the drop to marketers' ongoing push to stop exploiting robotic installation services that artificially inflate App Store rankings. A statement posted to the Apple Developers page in early February reads: "When you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership."

Adler added that Fiksu observed "more aggressive advertising spending as marketers moved out of the first quarter lull and began to seek new opportunities to compete for rank, especially in the dynamic social networking and games categories, which experienced volatility during the month."

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