Apple’s App Store Plagued by ‘Zombie Apps’

App Store 2008

Folks who are on the lookout for the telltale signs of the inevitable zombie apocalypse can add Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store to their list of places that are no longer safe from the undead. Okay, so the so-called “zombie apps” in the App Store may not try to feast on your flesh, but they are a rapidly multiplying problem for Apple and app creators. App market research firm Adjust highlighted the problem in a recently released report that looked at Apple’s App Store.

According to Adjust, “zombie app” is a term used “to describe an app that does not attract enough measurable attention to regularly receive rankings in the Apple App Store top lists.” As noted by Adjust, in order to not qualify as a zombie app, “an app must appear in any position on one of the 39,171 App Store top lists on at least two out of three days over the evaluation period of one month.” It should be noted that zombie apps are not the same as “dead apps,” which are apps that are no longer available because they have been pulled from the App Store by developers or Apple.

However, even when using this conservative definition, Adjust found an astonishing number of App Store apps qualified as zombies. According to Adjust, 79.6 percent, or 953,387 apps out of 1,197,087, fit the definition of a zombie app in June of 2014. This means that nearly four out of every five apps are staggering around the App Store in a zone between the living and the dead. Much like their flesh-eating counterparts that can be seen in television shows like The Walking Dead or feature films like World War Z, zombie apps are fast-growing plague that have already infected a majority of the App Store’s apps.