Competing with ChatGPT on Mobile is Harder Than Anthropic Thought

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read May. 10

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Cold start. Check out the full article for more insights.

I think it's fair to say that ChatGPT is AI for many. Especially those not in tech.

How can I say that so nonchalantly?

Last week, Claude, a competing model that's fairly similar in capabilities (not including the new 4o model), launched on the App Store after being web-only for a while now.

Its reception was, as Sarah Perez from TechCrunch described it, tepid. And I think that's a nice way to say it because the data is a bit colder.

According to our App Intelligence, Claude was downloaded 183K times in its first 11 days on the App Store. There's no Android version yet. The US led the way, contributing about 50% of that total, with Japan, the UK, Taiwan, and Thailand rounding out the top 5. All but Japan contributed a single-digit percent to the total.

In comparison, we estimate that ChatGPT saw 1.6M downloads in its first 11 days on the App Store. I didn't calculate the percent difference because it's too big to be useful.

Like ChatGPT, Claude offers a free tier with limitations and a $20 monthly subscription. Our estimates show that since release, Claude earned $31K in net revenue from the App Store. A rough calculation shows Claude likely has about 1,800 mobile subscriptions so far, most from the US.

I hate to do it again, but I have to - ChatGPT earned $558K of net revenue in the same period since launch.

Here's why I think this launch is not "crushing it" as some expected:

  1. Claude isn't nearly as popular as ChatGPT and doesn't have much brand recognition with the masses.
  2. The app's ASO is terrible. The app's name has no indication of what it does, nor does its icon. The subtitle does, but very minimally. Not enough for Apple's algorithm to rank it very high for AI-related keywords and even less for people who are looking for "AI". It's pretty clear that whoever did that simply copied ChatGPT's metadata.
  3. Speaking of copying things, the app's UI looks a lot like an orange version of ChatGPT but not in a good and familiar way but rather by copying ChatGPT's shortcomings like its contextless focus on upselling.

I didn't mean to sound mean or harsh here, but I think Anthropic really fumbled this launch, and that was very easy to avoid. If indie devs can launch properly, heavily VC-backed companies like Anthropic can take the hour that's required to do the organic part right.

That said, I think the rollout of GPT-4o is a game changer, especially as it's now available to free users as well. More on that next week!

App Intelligence for Everyone!

The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #ai

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