Pixalate has released new research into the hundreds of thousands of mobile apps that were delisted in Q4 2019 across the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Delisted Apps: Over 445k apps delisted in Q4 2019
- Over 281k Android apps and 164k iOS apps were delisted in Q4’19
- 57% of delisted Android apps had at least one “dangerous permission”
- Over 1.1 million Android apps were delisted in 2019 as a whole
- 1,447 delisted Android apps had over 1 million downloads prior to delisting
- Two different iOS developers had over 1,400 apps removed, respectively
Popular apps delisted
Nearly 1,500 Android apps that were delisted in Q4 2019 had over 1 million downloads prior to delisting, according to Pixalate’s research. Over 200 of those apps had over 5 million downloads:
On iOS, over 400 of the delisted apps had over 5,000 user ratings prior to delisting, and 244 of the delisted apps had over 10,000 ratings.
Here are the top 10 most popular Android apps (based on downloads) that were delisted in Q4 2019:
73%+ of delisted apps had no address or an unidentifiable address
73% of delisted Android apps had either no address listed or an unidentifiable address.
Among delisted iOS apps, the number was even higher, as 94% of apps delisted from the Apple App Store had either no address listed or an unidentifiable address.
57% of delisted apps had at least one ‘dangerous permission’ (Android)
Over half (57%) of delisted Android apps had at least one “dangerous permission,” as defined by Google.
- 18% had access to precise location
- 12% had access to camera
- 5% could record audio
Some developers had hundreds — or even thousands — of apps removed
On Android, eight different developers had over 500 apps delisted in Q4 2019, while two iOS developers had over 1,000 apps delisted:
The growing importance of app delistings
Earlier this year, Google removed over 500 apps for “disruptive ads.” Pixalate research revealed that over 75% of those apps had the “System Alert Window” permission, which Google’s documentation says “very few apps should use.”
Additional Pixalate research revealed that 5% of Android mobile programmatic ads went to delisted apps in Q3 2019. For advertisers, this underscores the importance of staying on top of app delistings — particularly when popular apps are delisted.
What’s inside Pixalate’s Q4 2019 Delisted Apps Report
Inside our delisted apps report, you’ll find:
- Delisted app trends across Android & iOS
- Top delisted iOS & Android apps
- Country of registration of delisted apps
- ‘Dangerous permission’ among delisted apps
- App developers with the most apps delisted
The content of this blog reflects Pixalate's opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any data shared is grounded in Pixalate's proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate's opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees.
In the context of this blog, "delisted apps" include apps delisted on or after October 1, 2019 and not on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store as of December 31, 2019. The delisting of an app does not indicate the entity or person that initiated the delisting action, i.e. Google, Apple, or the app developer, as that information is not generally available publicly. Additionally, the mere fact that an app has been delisted does not necessarily imply that one should draw negative inferences regarding the app or its developer. It is important to note that there are many relatively benign reasons for the delisting of apps (e.g., rebranding, app replacement, change in business direction, or a business transaction involving the app and/or the app’s developer).