Instead of actual download numbers, you can obtain some statistics from the RSS feeds generated by the iTunes Store RSS Generator. However, this only provides information about currently popular apps. Additionally, download numbers are available for Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad), and even Windows. Another option is to refer to a paper found at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1924044, which suggests a formula for calculating downloads. Alternatively, developers can access this information for their own apps through iTunes Connect.
I’m interested in conducting market research on a particular category of applications. Is there a method for me to determine the number of downloads for a specific app or any app in general?
Is it possible to determine the download count for a specific app on the iTunes App Store?
Unless the specific company discloses the information, it is impossible to determine. Your best option is to identify a few companies that are disclosing and then make an educated guess based on publicly available app rankings. At most, you will obtain an approximate estimate.
Given the recent acquisition and subsequent closure of xyo.net, this answer has been revised.
Currently, appannie.com and similarweb.com stand out as the top choices. Special thanks to @rinogo for the initial recommendation!
The response provided is no longer up to date.
While the site still has some bugs, it is undoubtedly the best one I have come across. Although I am uncertain about its accuracy, it does provide numbers that can be used as a basis for estimation. It covers Android, iOS (for both iPhone and iPad), and even Windows!
I came across a research paper (accessible at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1924044) proposing a formula for determining the number of downloads.
Developers have the ability to accomplish this for their own applications using iTunes Connect. However, if you are seeking statistics on apps created by other individuals, this method will not be of assistance.
On their website, 148Apps provides aggregate AppStore metrics that may be helpful. However, it does not provide a detailed breakdown of numbers.
In addition to the iTunes Store RSS Generator, you can gather statistics from the RSS feeds. However, it should be noted that this method only provides information on currently popular apps and not the actual number of downloads.