Users Adding Just 2.5 Apps per Month

wirelessintelligence.gifWireless Intelligence recently commissioned a UK/US study to help understand how smartphone users are interacting with iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian mobile apps. Here are some insights…
  • Apps accounted for an average of 667 minutes of face time per user per month, only slightly less than the time spent on messaging (671 minutes), and well ahead of both voice calling (531 minutes) and web browsing (422 minutes).
  • The average smartphone user in the study added just 2.5 new apps per month.
  • 37 percent of users added no new apps at all.
  • Most smartphone face time related to apps and features already present on the device. Add-on apps accounted for 20 percent of face time minutes.
  • Social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) was the most popular apps category accounting for 29 percent of apps face time.

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One thing the study probably didn’t take into account is something I have observed since apps first appeared on mobile devices: Apps are mainly added very shortly after purchasing a device. After that, only early adopters tend to add apps regularly. This might account for the low number of apps added per month.

What does all this mean for developers? It suggests to me that developers blaming app stores for poor app discoverability might be less about the app stores and more about end user behaviour. The majority of people still don’t actively browse apps and developers must find other ways, other than serendipity, to encourage people to download and install. This implies traditional PR and marketing via publications, media and web sites.

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