Stop Developing Apps for the 1st Generation iPad and Start Focusing on Quality

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Kevin Ford

April 24th, 2013

Indie developers that are still developing apps for the first generation iPad are creating headaches they simply cannot afford. Instead of trying to please everyone by making your apps available on every device, focus on creating quality apps for devices that generate more revenue.

Older devices generate less revenue

There is a theory that suggests the older the device, the less revenue the user generates. This is partially due to the frugality of the user, suggesting users with newer devices have more disposable income. Analysis from the NativeX network validates this theory, showing a 169% increase in ARPDAU from iOS 4 to iOS 5.

The Unity blog also commented on the issue, stating “the first iPad can be pretty much ignored now, whereas iPad 2 is still more popular than any of the later iPad models.”

Quality is more important than ever

Positive reviews, word of mouth, and social sharing are all essential for a profitable app distribution strategy. By continuing to develop apps for the original iPad and leaving out the latest features your players demand, you are planting the seed for negative reviews. On top of that, don’t expect Apple to feature your app without them. Discontinuing support for older devices like the first generation iPad will eliminate negative reviews from users with older devices and it will allow you to focus on creating enjoyable experiences. This is especially essential for freemium games that rely on retention for revenue. With strong retention comes a higher ARPDAU, resulting in marketing funds that can be used to drive user acquisition.

At iPad 2 announcement event, March 2, 2011.
At iPad 2 announcement event, March 2, 2011.

Touching on the subject, Giordano Contestabile puts it this way in an article published by Edge Mobile:

“If we postulate that quality means creating a product that puts the player’s enjoyment before anything else, aiming for fun as its primary goal, then a successful product will be one that consistently entertains, delights, challenges and rewards. And, sure enough, this is also the key characteristic of entertainment products that are able to maintain their relevance over time, achieving that by understanding very well their target audience and catering to it, setting a consistently high quality bar, then meeting or surpassing it, and eventually becoming evergreen franchises.”

Save your team time and money by focusing on developing apps for quality, rather than for maximum device exposure. If you do so, your app will be on it’s way to becoming an evergreen success.

Kevin Ford

Marketing Manager


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