Monetary impact of app crashes

It’s bad when apps crash. Angry reviews and poor ratings follow. And if it happens too often, customers drop off. But as a manager I’d want to measure the monetary impact of these crashes. This article is an attempt to qualitatively analyse why apps crash (most common reasons) and quantify the monetary impact.

In the world of web, the norm for uptime is at least 99.9%, if not more. Whereas in the world of apps, the norm for uptime is 99%*. While this might not seem so bad at the outset, it effectively means losing 3.65 days worth of business in a year. Delving a little deeper we see this situation is worse still, for specific segments of mobile apps. 

Data gathered from various analytics platforms like Crittercism, Appdynamics, and other sources indicates that 47% of the apps have a downtime of greater than 1%..


For a segment-wise breakdown of how apps perform across segments please refer to the detailed bar chart below. While gaming apps crash the most at 4.4%, e-commerce apps perform the best at an uptime of 0.4%.

Sector wise split of downtime

Sector wise split of downtime

Digging a little further, if we try to identify the major reasons why apps crash we see that among the top 5 in the list are:

  1. Null pointer exceptions
  2. Out of memory errors
  3. Bad tokens
  4. Illegal arguments
  5. SQLite exceptions

Given the above statistics it’s natural to wonder what the monetary impact is. At a 99% uptime, you are losing 3.65 days of revenues + Customer Acquisition Costs  (CAC) + other costs. Simple napkin math shows us that at $100M annual revenue (ARR), you are losing upwards of $1M just based on downtime. Given that crashes lead to a poor user experience, bad ratings, drop in conversion rates and many other downsides , this cost can only be higher.

Knowing that there is such a huge impact of app crashes on organisations which are increasingly going mobile, what can be done about it?

Well, you can go the instrumentation path, where you can try to build a self made solution insulating your organisation against crashes. (more about this in our upcoming blogs)


You can use

*Our definition of uptime is the number of times where apps do not crash

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