Apple’s App Store (s aapl) is doing well thanks to the successful launch of the iPhone 4S. For the second month in a row, it posted record downloads among the top 200 free apps according to mobile app marketing firm Fiksu. For the first time, free apps in the top 200 exceeded the 5 million mark, with an average of 5.65 million downloads per day.
That’s a 15 percent increase over the same stat as measured in October, when the App Store saw 4.91 million downloads per day among the top-ranked free apps. Before that, downloads had been declining slowly since June 2011, a lull some attributed to the release date of the iPhone 4S, which came months later than Apple’s usual annual smartphone refreshes.
Fiksu says that the introduction and rapid adoption of iOS 5 also helped downloads climb, due in part to a slew of app updates from developers designed to bring software up to spec for the new mobile OS. Downloads for November were a full 83 percent higher than at the same time in 2010, as a result of the combined factors of the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 launches.
Apple’s software market will continue to see benefits from the iPhone 4S launch, Fiksu expects especially since most analysts are now predicting that Apple will sell 30 million or more iPhones in the quarter covering the end of the 2011 calendar year. But what’ll be more interesting to watch is how app downloads perform over the course of the next year; Apple has changed up its release timeline, and that means it’ll be harder for consumers to predict when the next iteration of the iPhone arrives. As a result, the rumor mill could have a stronger impact on determining app market fluctuations.