In the competitive world of mobile apps, understanding your market is as crucial as the app’s design and functionality. Researching potential competitors before you start building your app not only sharpens your product’s edge but also significantly improves its chances of success.

Over the past decade, more than 90% of clients that approach Epic Apps believe their app idea is the first of its kind. Yet, within just a few hours of dedicated research during the discovery phase of the engagement, we find that about half of these ideas already have nearly identical counterparts in the market!  Fortunately, this discovery often turns out to be beneficial, as we’ll explain further.

Identifying Competitors

Begin by pinpointing your main competitors. Start where most searches do—on app stores. Use relevant keywords linked to your app’s function and theme to explore the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Next, extend your search to the broader web. Employ varied keyword combinations on Google to uncover existing market entries. Websites like Reddit also serve as valuable resources where discussions about similar app ideas may be brewing, potentially by individuals who have yet to venture into app development that’s related to your idea.

Don’t overlook the power of social media searches. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are equipped with sophisticated AI-driven search engines that can surprisingly pinpoint close matches with just a few keywords.

Lastly, leverage analytical tools such as (fka App Annie) and Sensor Tower. These platforms offer critical data on app performance metrics like downloads, revenue, and user engagement, providing a deeper understanding of the competitive landscape.

Analyzing the Market

Once you have a list of competitors, analyze the market demand. Understanding the user base’s size and demographics can help tailor your app to better meet their needs. This analysis involves looking at market trends, user reviews, and feedback on competitor apps. Pay attention to what users praise and what they complain about. This can highlight features that are missing in the market, which your app could potentially offer.

Delve deeper into the backgrounds of the developers and their investors. Utilize resources like Crunchbase to discover funding details, including how much capital your competitors have secured and which venture capitalists are backing them.

The amount of funding raised and the number of investment rounds are crucial metrics for gauging the viability and potential success of an app idea.  Additionally, if numerous competitors are well-funded, it underscores the market’s competitiveness and can inform your strategy to stand out and succeed.

Conversely, apps that seem underfunded or lack a robust marketing spend present unique opportunities for disruption. The adage ‘build it and they will come’ rarely holds true in the competitive app marketplace. Surprisingly, many still adopt this passive approach, hoping their app will naturally attract users—an oversight that you can capitalize on. We advise every client from the start: Investing more in developing your app than in marketing it, will significantly reduce your chances of success!

Distinguishing Your App

If other apps are thriving in this space, it’s a good sign that there’s a demand. Additionally, existing apps set a benchmark for you. They help you understand what works, which can guide your design and development process, reducing both risk and the time needed to find a viable product-market fit. Scrutinize their reviews, and jot down insights about their features, pricing, and user interfaces.
With a thorough understanding of existing apps, focus on distinguishing your app in the market. Consider creating a unique value proposition, enhancing the design, adding innovative features, or providing more effective solutions to user issues. These differentiators will be thoroughly explored during the discovery sessions with your developer, setting the stage for the UX/UI design phase of your app’s development.

Remember, a successful app does not need to reinvent the wheel; sometimes, significantly improving on existing solutions, or addressing neglected user needs, is enough.


Researching competition before building a mobile app is an essential step that should not be overlooked. By understanding what’s already available, you can better position your app to be unique and appealing. However, whether you can ever monetize your great app idea is a whole ‘nother story, which we’ll tackle in a future blog post.