iPhone users have been grabbing free apps at a feverish pace, says a new study from mobile ad firm Fiksu.
For the month of November, the total number of downloads of the top 200 free iPhone apps in the U.S. hit a record 5.65 million per day. That figure was 15 percent higher than the 4.91 million seen in October and a full 83 percent higher than the rate recorded a year ago.
November also was the first time that Fiksu's numbers surpassed the 5 million mark.
The download rate showed a gradual dip since this past June with the numbers hitting a low of 3.8 million in September. But following the debut of the iPhone 4S and IOS 5 in October, downloads jumped to 4.9 million.
"As expected, and as we've seen before with new device launches, new owners' enthusiasm is high and their appetite for app discovery and engagement is strong," Fiksu noted. "This bears out in the numbers with daily app downloads hitting a new, all-time record peak reflecting heightened competition for rank in the Apple App Store. Additionally, the rapid adoption of iOS 5--and corresponding app updates--played a key role in this continued escalation in November."
Of course, Fiksu's data reveals only a small piece of the pie.
Since the firm records only the top 200 free iPhone apps, the number of downloads for all free iPhone apps is certainly much higher. Further, the current stats include only November. With a huge number of iOS device sales and activations seen this Christmas by Flurry and other analytics firms, Apple should see an even greater jump in app downloads for the holiday season.