One-third cell phone users have apps, but few using them: Pew, Nielsen surveys
Thirty-five percent of adult cellphone users have apps to book a table at a restaurant, check in with friends on Facebook and find their way through GPS maps.
But only one-quarter of those cellphone owners are using those apps. Taking pictures and text messaging remain the most popular things to do with wireless gadgets, according to two surveys released Tuesday.
The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the Nielsen Co. joined in announcing their findingsPIP_Nielsen Apps Report FINAL .pdf on cellphone app use with two surveys showing that even amid the excitement of new apps-centric smart phones, users are slow to embrace the technology.
“It is clear that this is the early stage of adoption when many cell owners do not know what their phone can do,” said Kristen Purcell, associate director for research at the Pew Internet Project. “The apps market seems somewhat ahead of a majority of adult cellphone users.”
- 29 percent of cellphone users are downloading apps
- The users who download apps tend to be male (57 percent male, 43 percent female)
- The most popular downloaded apps were games, followed by news and weather, and social networking.
It was the first report by the research organization on cellphone app adoption, so there were no data on a rise or fall in apps use. But the report shows software apps are becoming a significant part of the mobile market, said Roger Entner, senior vice president and head of research for telecom at Nielsen.
“Every metric we capture shows a widening embrace of all kinds of apps by a widening population,” Entner said. “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 for many Americans.”
Suggested reading on the apps economy: Wired's The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet, by Chris Anderson.
September 14, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
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