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Is there a good moment to release an app? Is there a bad moment to release an app?

For example, maybe Spring/Summer won't get as many sales as the Fall/ Winter. In the sense that kids getting out of school will be spending less time in front of the screen, more time hanging out outside, etc.

Any opinions on the matter?

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migrated from Mar 11 '11 at 20:05

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This is a good question! – occulus Mar 11 '11 at 17:09
I wish I had thought of this question. It'll probably get to 1k views. – Mark Thalman Mar 11 '11 at 17:27
@Mark Given the throughput of questions, do any get 1k views anymore? – amelvin Mar 11 '11 at 17:34
Belongs on programmers.stackexchange. – ceejayoz Mar 11 '11 at 17:39
@amelvin I see them occasionally for topics that are this narrow. – Mark Thalman Mar 11 '11 at 19:44

4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I would say release as soon as it is ready - unless it is Christmas week, or you app is truly seasonal (like a reindeer app).

By delaying you may be overtaken by events (or other apps); and the mantra of release early, release often is pretty accurate.

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Releasing a small independent app during a time when there a lot of big name app sales, like for today's iPad2 release, probably wouldn't get you the coverage you would like. Also during Christmas when everybody is competing for the top place to get locked in for the app store freeze that Apple does every year isn't a good idea. I would try to time a release for when things are slow on the app store.

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I'm surprised that nobody's covered release days yet. App usage/download peaks on Friday through Sunday (that's based off a number of apps I work on with million+ users). If you release an app on Monday you might miss out on the boost you'd otherwise get from charting on a Thursday/Friday and having that momentum pick up through the weekend*. Apple also rotate the store promos on a Thursday (usually).

As to the seasons: it's a bit of a crap-shoot. It's been mentioned by other people that releasing during a hardware launch might not be a good idea, but on the other hand during a hardware launch there's a lot of new devices coming onto the marketplace, and owners exploring the app store for the first time.

Really, though, it's all about the content of your app. Perhaps July/August are slower months than normal, but probably not if your app is a picnic spot finder. And releasing a snow-forecast app in the summer probably isn't the best idea in the world.

*...although I'm making a western-centric assumption here, because there are some iTunes territories where the weekend doesn't fall on a Sat/Sun.

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Why does it matter when you release it? If you release it in July but people really like to buy apps during (say) Christmas, the worst that will happen is additional people will buy it before that event arrives.

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Or, by Christmas, it will be drowned in the other apps (there were over 150,000 last I checked, and I don't think the number is going down). Typically, release day is important, since it can hit the new app list. – David Thornley Mar 11 '11 at 22:06

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