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The Days After Christmas Are the Real Christmas for App Makers

App and content makers pull out all the stops to woo those with a shiny new tablet or phone to download their wares.

Ina Fried

The big holiday season for those that make tablets and phones runs through Christmas as families upgrade their devices and put new ones under the tree.

For those that sell the apps that run on those devices, though, the big rush is after Christmas, as recipients boot up their new devices and also cash in on gift cards they may have gotten. As a result, many app makers offer special discounts and promotions in order to try to lure as many eager device owners as possible.

Screenshot by Re/code

Among the iPhone apps on sale for 99 cents are productivity tools like Procreate, FlightTrack 5 and Scanner Pro, along with games such as Sky Safari 2, Trick Shot and Goat Simulator.

Increasingly, other types of hardware also come with a smartphone app, meaning that downloads and search data can provide insight into what other gifts were popular. Trending searches on the iPhone, for example, include the apps for the Anki connected toy car, Fitbit fitness band, GoPro action camera and BB-8 droid by Sphero.

Catering to such customers, Apple has a special section for those new to the App Store, offering recommendations including games like Temple Run 2 and Madden NFL, business apps like Slack and Box, as well as homegrown apps like Keynote, Pages and Numbers.

Google is offering up to 90 percent off various apps including popular kids title Minecraft, as well as 80 percent of Lara Craft Go, on sale for 99 cents.

App makers, meanwhile, hope sheer volume outweighs the price cuts while also knowing that if they don’t make a sale customers will likely download and start using some other game or productivity tool.

Google, meanwhile, is also running a number of deals to get people interested in its media options for Android. Offers include three months of the Google Play Music service for $1 and 75 percent off of one video rental. It’s also offering up to 80 percent off some books and periodical subscriptions, going as low as $1 per month for three months.

On the music side, Andra Day’s album Cheers to the Fall is offered up free, with a number of other albums, such as Carrie Underwood’s Greatest Hits, available for just 99 cents.

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