Smartphones are setting new sales records, and the number of apps available in online stores continues to grow, having reached a combined figure of 3.4 million apps (Statista, 2015), making this a desirable market for investors, companies and developers. However, among all those apps, only a limited number succeeds. The present study builds on the existing knowledge of mobile apps success and contributes to enhance the existing literature on mobile app success proposing a configurational theory for mobile app success. To accomplish this, we applied the fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to identify the antecedent conditions for mobile apps success. We collected data from the top 100 ranked apps at App Store. The fsQCA results supported the following propositions: (i) smaller package size, (ii) lower user reviews scores with higher languages supported and fewer versions supported, (iii) highly popular categories with higher user review scores and fewer languages supported, (iv) highly popular categories with higher number of versions supported and fewer languages supported and (v) highly popular categories with higher user review scores and higher number of versions supported, are sufficient conditions for mobile app success. Interestingly, we found that smaller package sizes and highly popular category is a necessary condition for mobile app success.
Duarte, Ricardo and Picoto, Winnie, "APPLYING CONFIGURATIONAL THEORY TO UNDERSTAND MOBILE APP SUCCESS" (2016). Research Papers. 54.