10 Major Causes that Lead to Mobile App Failures

The abundance of apps in the app stores is pleasing to the eyes of users but a sore sight to the marketer who was handed the responsibility of making the application a hit show. You just keep wondering, “How will my sheep be located in this herd?” Also, how do my sheep overcome the usual mobile app startup failures in order to succeed?

Well, it is certainly difficult unless your sheep is black; but you wouldn’t want that to be. So what is the other plausible solution? It is as simple as walking away from the herd and choosing your own path.

However, not many people are able to make this decision since they have become habituated to the herd mentality and end up in the pit of oblivion along with others of their kind. But here’s the good news, there’s still some time in your hands to make up for the blunders, but the most important aspect is recognizing where we falter in the whole process.

1. Failure to Solve Any Real World Problem

Most apps as we see them today are replicas of a few popular ones. The users are looking for innovation and the failure to come up with something inventive causes, disappointment and loss of trust. For instance, if all the fashion designers are making the same style of apparels the competition will be high while the buyers less interested; hence only the original concepts and designs make an impact on the customers’ mind. All the other replicas, iPhone or Android, are doomed to be classified as mobile app failures.

If you are creating an app with the sole purpose of earning money out of it then you have already committed the first gaffe. Your main motive should always be solving a problem that exists amongst the users. The marketers have an important role to play in this scenario; their survey results of the market will exhibit the user pain points, which in turn will be your model of app creation. Android App Failure usually occurs because the same design is replicated while iPhone App Failure is a result of lack of efforts.


2. Inability to Understand the Target Audience

When one of our clients approached us with this innovative idea of an iPhone app for kids, which would be all about interesting games and activities that would keep them occupied and enhance their cognitive skills, thinking only like kids wouldn’t be enough, we also had to consider nannies, mommies and even elder siblings who will be referring to the app more than the little ones.

The moral of the story is if you are not able to focus on your target audience properly; it will certainly paint a very blurry picture about your ideas, as a result, your application will never reach the right users and remain an unimportant guest in the app world. One of the major reasons for mobile app failures is the inability to recognize the right audience.


3. Not Sure About the Mobile Platform

Whether your application is going to be an iPhone app or Android app or for the Windows’ phone; if you have not been able to make up your mind about it then you are certainly calling for some trouble in the coming days. If you are targeting a niche market you should also know what is the best road to reach them? Although in most cases people are certain about the mobile platform for their app; yet their decision is not based on mindful deliberations. Android App Failure or iPhone App Failure isn’t a result of the errors committed in design alone, but also because the platform hasn’t been carefully studied.

You cannot go with a certain platform just because it suits your predisposition. The mobile platform that you select must be the preference of your target audience. Most people who pick the option of an iPhone app are usually trying to target the audience who have an erudite taste; but what if your actual users have an inclination towards Android phones.

Of late app, creators have resorted to a new concept of getting apps developed for both iPhone and Android platforms. It can be good if your audience is available on both the platforms; yet if you are able to successfully zero in on the better option you are safer. If you are looking to dodge Android App Failure or iPhone App Failure completely, it will pay in the long run to get started with one platform and gaining expertise in it.


4. Too Many or Too fewer Features

Users have grown highly critical about every new launch whether it is for a gadget or an application pertaining to the gadget. And this is clearly visible from the recent remarks after the iPhone6 and iPhone6Plus launch. Nevertheless, even getting a critical review about your app is tough in these times when there are numerous apps being launched every day. Mobile App Failures aren’t an irregularity anymore, but a routine, given so many apps are being launched each day.

Choking your app with too many features will not make it a hit amongst users. If you have a look at the updates from Instagram it will hit you how they come up with their updates. It keeps alive the interest of the users and every new feature gets publicity by itself. This proves clearly how many and when will your features impress the users of the app. One of the major reason for any Mobile App Startup Failure is the inability to inculcate new features or changes through periodic updates.

Hence, if you are under the impression that a feature-loaded application will lure the users; it might turn to be an exact opposite scenario. Excessive features might confuse them and thus they would prefer to opt for something more specific to their needs.

While if you have been too selective about adding features in your application; it too might also have an adverse effect, adding to the mobile app failures. The number of features should be decided after properly scrutinizing the usability of your application along with the devices in which it will be used.


5. Making It Too Complex for the Users

In the process of enhancing the UX, the app creators often make it a complex affair. The biggest reason for Apple to be able to gather so much attention easily was its simplicity of usage. If a user is not able to locate the right buttons in your app at one go; then certainly it is not serving the purpose it was created for. Nobody has time to sit back and learn how to use your application when there are easy to operate options available around them, and if you expect them to, you are inviting one of the many causes of mobile app failures.

In this case, one might also need to consider the localization or locational factors which vary according to the technological development of the place as well as the age of the users. Make sure that the design of your mobile app justifies its business value. For an app, to be compatible with the user you need to analyze your target audience’s intellectual understanding and their compliance towards changing trends.Mobile App Failures, both in Android and iOS, are because of the design intricacies.


6. Incompatible User Experience

Imagine an app designed for helping the blind without any alarm feature when the user is in trouble; or a home automation application that can be linked with only one phone. These apps limit your user experience instead of enhancing it. The main criteria for an app creation are starting an interaction with the user; if you have a deaf and mute app that does not provide any feedback to the user he will certainly be less interested in using it. It will like clearing the highest level of a game still not getting any scores or unable to share your scores with your friends; what’s the fun in that?

7. Neglecting the Backend Support

This especially applies to the apps for e-commerce market or even the games applications. If you are expecting a voluminous footfall but you haven’t prepared your backend for it, then you might face the wrath any day. With the cloud technology at your disposal, it is time to embrace faster and better means of support and storage. There have been several instances when apps have not been handling the traffic inflow as a result affecting the business value for a longer period.

Another aspect to consider when looking for a robust backend is scalability. A scalable backend service will adjust according to the traffic influx over a period of time; Twitter is amongst the finest example of a scalable and strong backend. If you looking to dodge mobile app startup failure in Android and iOS, go for a product that is scalable.

8. Not Carrying out Enough Marketing in Time

Most marketers make this mistake, marketing your app after it has been created and launched is the dullest job and fruitless too. Rather it is time to take the more innovative approach, especially with so many methods of publicity at your disposal. There is no harm in creating a little hype for your application. You can make effective use of the social media and ask your prospects to give ideas about what they would like to include in the application.

Build up a little excitement before the launch of the application like Apple does; it will aid in creating a ready market for your application so you will not need to toil later to make it visible to your target audience. Launch events are also a good idea if you want media to talk about your app.


9. Not Applying App Optimization Techniques

Unoptimized apps are always a lost scenario and there’s hardly any chance of them rising with the newer waves of applications flooding the coast every minute, and eventually, they add to the list of mobile app failures. App optimization is methodological approach and must be carried out cautiously lest it might backfire. Even Apple uses small but interesting descriptions about its apps so that the users are able to make an intelligent selection.

To know more about App Optimization read our blog https://www.netsolutions.com/insights/app-store-optimization/

10. Failure to Update the App Based on Users’ Feedback

After the release of the application you are constantly trying to sell it to your customers; not realizing that you also need to pay attention to the issues that they are facing and fixing it for them so that you have happy customers coming back to you. The best example again will be Apple’s taking back its iOS 8 update and quickly coming back with 8.0.2; this was a cue for the customers that their problems are being heeded and the company is keen on preserving its reputation by providing a quick solution.

Now coming back to the usual scenario where feedbacks are collected for sure but hardly any action is taken to improve the application’s drawbacks. Moreover, with the fast pacing developments in the gadget world, one needs to stay ahead of time and create apps which are able to match pace with the new iPhone6Plus, Samsung’s Phablets or the wearables which have already begun to capture the market’s attention.


If you look at the above-mentioned points, you might feel they are some of the commonest errors but lead to major chaos in your business value with the failure of your app. Hence, it is all about making planned moves and being cautious about the strategies you deploy when deciding the market for your app. The strategy applied for marketing your app is an equally critical step especially when it comes to the timing and target audience so is making it rich in user experience; not to forget the user feedbacks which decide its fate.

Article Name
10 Major Causes that Lead to Mobile App Failures
Find out the major causes of mobile app failures and learn how to increase its popularity.
Amit Manchanda

About the Author

Amit Manchanda is working as Project Lead at Net Solutions and has over 9 years of experience in technologies like ASP, Adobe Flex and Android. He has been part of SME (Subject Matter Expert) Group for RIA applications. He has good understanding of analyzing the technical need/problem of client and providing them the best solution. He enjoys interacting with his team & is passionate about his work. In his free time he loves to listen music, watch Cricket and play with his daughter.



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