App use still not mainstream yet, survey suggests

15 Sep 2010

Some 35pc of mobile phone owners have apps on their phone and just 24pc of adults use those apps, a survey conducted by Pew Internet in the US shows.

Eleven per cent of mobile phone owners are uncertain if their phone is even equipped with apps.

The survey also found that, among Princet owners, 29pc have downloaded apps to their phone and 13pc have paid for downloaded apps.

It also found that most app users are male, and are younger, wealthier and better educated than the other adults surveyed. The apps-using population in the US also skews slightly Hispanic when compared to other mobile phone users.

App use ranks low as compared to other activities. The most commonly accessed activity on mobile phones was taking photos, where the survey found that 76pc of mobile-using adults have done this.

Some 72pc of mobile phone users have sent and received text messages.

Where the apps culture exists

“An apps culture is clearly emerging among some cellphone users, particularly men and young adults,” said Kristen Purcell, associate director for research at the Pew Internet Project.

“Still, it is clear that this is the early stage of adoption when many cell owners do not know what their phone can do. The apps market seems somewhat ahead of a majority of adult cellphone users.”

“This is a pretty remarkable tech-adoption story, if you consider that there was no apps culture until two years ago,” said Roger Entner, co-author of the report and senior vice-president and head of research and insights for Telecom Practice at Nielsen.

“Every metric we capture shows a widening embrace of all kinds of apps by a widening population.

“It’s too early to say what this will eventually amount to, but not too early to say that this is an important new part of the technology world of many Americans,” said Entner.

The report is based on a Pew Internet telephone survey of 2,252 US adults aged 18 and older. It was conducted by Princeton Survey Research International between April 29 and May 30 2010.

The sample included 1,917 mobile phone users, 744 of whom were contacted on their mobile phones.

The survey also contains data from an analysis by Nielsen of 3,962 adults over the age of 18, which was gathered in the December 2009 Apps Playbook.