App Developers

of one

Pre-Load Apps

Developers and users' opinions and feelings towards preloaded apps is subjective to the user and to the developer. Below we have provided an overview of how app developers who do user acquisition perceive preloads in comparison to standard distribution channels.


Funda Yakin, director of Germany's leading developers and provider of online and mobile games has noted that direct deals between mobile operators and the company, InnoGames has allowed the company to see tremendous success. Funda, was part of the campaign that saw the success of Angry Birds by having it preloaded into Nokia smartphones and utilized the same concept in her position at InnoGames.

One of the biggest advantages she has noted with having apps preloaded into smartphone devices is the increased user engagement and interaction. From research studies, she has noted that apps that are preloaded often gain a level of trust from users. This is due to the fact that there is the notion that these apps have been recommended by the smartphone manufacturer. According to test campaigns held by InnoGames, they noted that preloaded apps have higher retention rates, higher conversion rates and higher levels of loyalty to the app.

However, she noted that the key to this success was targeting the right audience-device combination. This means that they target highly engaged users who are likely to engage with their games over a longer period. This has led to the company noting an increase of 40% in customer lifetime value (LTV) which is higher than what is recorded by other campaigns.


Developer Nivi Mor, notes that preinstall campaigns for preloaded apps are allow developers to reach larger audiences without having to run online campaigns. Developers also benefit from the easy access to users that preloaded apps provide. Funda Yakin says that she has noted the benefits first-hand of having gaming and shopping apps directly installed on users smartphones. It eliminates the need for users to shop for hours on app stores looking for the right application to download.

The recommendation by mobile devices for use of these apps is also a marketing strategy that can work in favor of app developers as a marketing strategy. Other performance-based user acquisition methods do not guarantee rigorous testing before download and therefore lack the element of trust that preloaded apps offer.

Pre-install campaigns that are often conducted for preloaded apps allows the developers to how many users in total launch the app, how many users a mobile manufacturer brings and the developer is able to note the LTV of each user and note which manufacturer brings in the highest number of users.

The Average American looks at their phone 48 times a day, this form of marketing is one of the most influential for developers.


Pre-loaded apps are often considered to be bloatware, unnecessary and using up much-needed device memory. However according to TUNE, a platform for developers, smartphone manufacturers and OEMs have come up with smarter ways through which they can optimize the use of these apps. Carriers and OEMs have inside knowledge into how users are engaging with these apps and also the lifetime value from every app user.

For developers, this knowledge is very important. They are able to understand the general user's profile and device behavioral indicators. Advertisers are able to capitalize on this and with the right level of funding and resources, as well as knowledge on engagement rates, they are able to create a good mobile ad strategy that will have the desired reach. Other distribution channels may not have the ease of access to this information from carriers and OEMs that preloaded apps have therefore given an advantage to preloaded apps.

Testing is also crucial for this strategy, app developers who wish to preload their apps must partner with the right devices to capitalize on the right market for their intended reach.


The Digital Turbine states that preload apps are able to see continued momentum outside the initial campaign spend. This cannot be said for other distribution channels due to the fact that other digital campaigns are dependent on the budget the developer has for the campaign and often after that campaign, engagement is slower or stops altogether unless the app is memorable to the users. After the campaign there is often no reference point that users can have to go back to the app before they installed it.

Preloads apps are known to deliver results for the developer long after the initial campaign. This is largely due to devices' lifespan. People are generally known to keep their phones for up to 2 years. It is not uncommon for users to discover or start using apps or engage with apps months after buying their phones. Data shows that discovery of new apps grows from 30% within the first week after a preload campaign, to 54% six months after and this percentage can grow throughout the lifetime of the phone.

These apps can also be influenced by other digital campaigns and word of mouth campaigns. A positive review by a relative or a friend will encourage the user to begin use of the app.


App developers and companies have a difficult time trying to convince phone manufacturers that they need the app on their phones. This is also due to the fact that preloaded apps have a bad reputation among users.

Preloaded apps are often considered to be insecure due to the fact that the permissions granted by some of these apps allows for them to track users and their activities. They are also considered unnecessary by many users and taking up much needed space and smartphone devices that have too many pre-installed apps may be off-putting for potential buyers.

App developers therefore are tasked with detailing how their apps will be beneficial to the mobile manufacturer depending on the target demographic. Android phones often come with Cleaner Apps while iPhone automatically comes with Apple News due to the advantages these apps provide to the mobile manufacturers.