ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on a specific strategy that developers of mobile applications may use to stimulate demand: the release of updates. We start with a stylised theoretical analysis to describe the developer's decision to release an update. Its predictions are then tested by using an unbalanced panel with the top 1,000 apps in iTunes and Google Play for five European countries. We show that while in iTunes updates increase the rate of growth of downloads, in Google Play their effect is not significant. We argue that the lack of quality control by Google Play can lead to an excess of updating. We also find that the past performance of the app influences the decision to release an update, but only in iTunes. This finding is in line with our theoretical analysis and can again be interpreted on the basis of the different way of governing the release of updates in the two stores.
* Earlier versions of this paper have been published as CCP Working Papers 15-4 and 15-4v2, with the same title. This version contains a new section on apps multihoming.
KEYWORDS: Mobile applications, updates, downloads, iTunes, Google Play, visibility, minor updates, major updates.
CITATION: Comino, S., Manenti, F. & Mariuzzo, F. (2015) "Updates Management in Mobile Applications. iTunes vs Google Play", CCP Working Paper 15-4 v3