Top 7 Mobile App Failures & Learnings to Build a Successful App


    Everyone who invests in a top app development company in USA wants their application to succeed, thereby garnering millions of downloads. Unfortunately, only a handful of people can successfully achieve this because millions of applications fail despite the developer’s and owners’ efforts and strategies. Any application failure can be attributed to several factors starting from planning to implementing the application. The issue can lie anywhere, and it could be due to bad application ideas and strategies or lack of monetization or poor execution, or others. Statistics state that nearly 30% of the mobile applications fail within the 1st 12–18 months of their release in the market. Furthermore, after the first week of the availability of the application, more than 60% of mobile apps on the Google Plays Store witnessed an 80% drop in downloads.

    However, the worst part of the failure is that thousands of dollars of the money goes down the drain and the investors suffer losses. If you’re developing a mobile app right now, you should be prepared to face any peculiar situations. When it comes to launching a mobile app, things don’t always go as planned since you’ll experience several hurdles along the journey, and things can go wrong at any point in the development stage. To give you a better perspective of mobile app failure, we would go over the common mistakes and the way out to create a successful app.

Mobile Apps That Failed & What to Learn from Their Mistakes

Some of the major ground-breaking failures of mobile applications in history and what you should learn from the mistakes that they committed are:

1. Vine:

  • App Life: 2012 to 2017

  • Synopsis: A popular app for making short-form videos

  • Market: Social networking

  • Claim to fame: Twitter bought the app in 2012 for a reported $30 million

Vine was a video-sharing program like Instagram that allowed users to create and share video segments. While Instagram was not the sole cause of Vine’s failure in the market, it did play a significant role. As the number of downloads and users significantly fell, so did the number of advertisers and marketers who had believed Vine to be a worthwhile investment.


An unsustainable business strategy and a failure to change and fight with rival apps were among the other difficulties. When launching an app, make sure you thoroughly investigate and comprehend your product-market fit. Ensure to have a plan for how you can keep users satisfied with your app and get them to spend more time with it.


2. Yik Yak:

  • App Life: 2013 to 2017

  • Synopsis: An anonymous, location-based messaging app for college students

  • Market: Social networking

  • Claim to fame: Investors once valued Yik Yak at $400 million

Yik Yak was another famous application that lacked a business plan or a clear grasp of its product or market fit at the time. The confidentiality that drew users to the program in the first place later led to severe concerns about cyberbullying, threats, and abuse. The app was misused, and anonymous threats were spread, leading to schools and institutions banning it. After barely four years, user growth stagnated, staff lost their jobs, and the app was shut down.


There always will be competitiveness; however, there are a few key components to success: recognizing and accepting change. Users’ requirements may change as technology advances, and it is a requirement that you keep up with the changing user needs.


3. Hailo:

  • App Life: 2012 to 2014 (North America market)

  • Synopsis: British-born taxi app that matched passengers with taxi drivers

  • Market: Transportation

  • Claim to fame: In 2013, the app had 30,000 drivers and 2.5 million users

Whilst the mobile application is still available in Europe, it was a disappointment in North America, especially when it first launched in New York City. The major fault of the application was to consider the target audience of New York and London to be similar since cabs are regarded as a luxury in London while it is quite common in New York. It didn’t help that Uber had already begun in 2011 and was on its way to becoming the market leader.


Although it may appear to be common knowledge, no two users are the same. This similar concept also applies to the market, and you should conduct in-depth research rather than basing your choices on assumptions. You may have a fantastic idea, but you must work hard to make it a reality.


4. Pay By Touch:

  • App Life: 2002 to 2008

  • Synopsis: An app and system that offered biometric payment service

  • Market: Finance

  • Claim to fame: Convinced Oracle and Accenture executives to join the business and then raised $340 million in funding

Reckless leadership, inadequate market research, and a paucity of marketing are just a few examples as to why the app was a huge failure. The company had the tremendous ability and capability to be a helpful payment service. Furthermore, customers were left out of the loop when Pay by Touch filed for bankruptcy.


An app’s failure has never been due to a single factor. Even yet, one thing is clear: great leadership should never be undervalued in any organisation. Don’t be scared to invest in management and colleagues who can think beyond the box.


5. Quibi:

  • App Life: April to October 2020

  • Synopsis: A short-form video streaming service

  • Market: Media and entertainment

  • Claim to fame: The app successfully raised $2 billion before launch

Here’s a great idea: an app that allows live-streamed auctions for selling artifacts, collectibles, and fine art. Here’s a bad idea: breaching trade regulations. In 2016, a report was released that accused Aucionata of shill bidding and unethical behavior*. After these issues came to light, the app lost the trust of users and had officially lost its value.


Why does your app exist? If you can’t answer this question, your users definitely won’t be able to. Also, be sure that you can answer another important question: why would a user choose your app over Netflix? TikTok? Instagram? Competition is fierce and your app has to stand out for the right reasons.


6. Google Wave

  • App Life: 2009 to 2010

  • Synopsis: A real-time messaging platform

  • Market: Social networking

  • Claim to fame: Generated tons of buzz and was deemed ‘highly anticipated’

Although Google Wave never reached app users, this is an example of a platform launching too early. It also goes to show that a big name like Google isn’t always enough to guarantee success. It was also never totally clear what Google Wave was supposed to be and sadly, after only a year, the wave crashed and burned for the search engine giant.

Key takeaway: GInitial buzz for your app is definitely exciting but don’t give in to internal or external pressure to launch your app before it’s ready. It can be tempting to launch while the attention is on your app but if you don’t manage expectations, make your product clear, or properly map out your rollout plan, you and your app will miss the mark entirely.


7. Auctionata

  • App Life: 2012 to 2017

  • Synopsis: An online auction house that specialized in luxury goods and collectibles

  • Market: Ecommerce

  • Claim to fame: 250 art experts and $96+ million in funding raised

Here’s a great idea: an app that allows live-streamed auctions for selling artifacts, collectibles, and fine art. Here’s a bad idea: breaching trade regulations. In 2016, a report was released that accused Aucionata of shill bidding and unethical behavior*. After these issues came to light, the app lost the trust of users and had officially lost its value.

Key takeaway: It’s simple: don’t be irresponsible, unethical, or bid against your customers. In addition to adhering to policies, regulations, and codes within your industry, make sure that you are always transparent with your app’s T&Cs and responsible with user data. If you do make a mistake and lose the trust of your users, take the necessary steps to reconcile the issue and learn lessons from the moment.


FAQs About Android App Development

Android app development refers to the process of creating applications specifically designed to run on the Android operating system. It involves designing, coding, testing, and deploying applications for devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and wearable devices that utilize the Android platform.

Instant apps allow users to try out apps or games without installing them on their devices. It helps increase app installs by allowing users to experience the app before deciding to download it.

Flutter is a technology from Google that enables multiplatform development. It allows developers to create apps with a native interface for both Android and iOS platforms. Flutter is popular due to its flexibility and compatibility.

Chatbots provide fast and automated responses, improving customer support and enabling 24/7 availability. They can handle user queries instantly, unlike human workers who may take hours to respond. Chatbots are used by enterprises like Facebook and Starbucks, offering convenient services to customers.

In healthcare, IoT devices can track health conditions and transmit collected data to doctors for analysis. In education, IoT projects like Edmodo C-Pen and Nymi provide communication and collaboration opportunities for teachers and students. IoT enhances connectivity and functionality in these fields.