Saturday, September 12, 2009

Most Apple iPhone Users Download 10+ Applications

It has been long established in the mobile world that applications are the key selling point for Apple's iPhone. At the end of June, Apple reported a record 5.2 million iPhones sold in its third quarter, which is a 600% increase over the same time-period a year earlier. Steve Jobs, Apple Chairman, was proud to announce that more than 1.5 billion applications had been downloaded from the App Store. Unsurprisingly, according to a new survey released by Compete, 72% of iPhone users have downloaded 10 or more applications to their gadgets. On the other hand, in comparison only 27% of Blackberry users have downloaded five or more applications.

The day my friend bought his iPhone, he has already downloaded more than 10 applications. To deny this curiosity for new features seems weird. While Blackberry's App World selection certainly does not compete with Apple's App Store, the company does offer free fan favorites like Facebook, Pandora and Google Talk. The Blackberry’s low application download numbers has shocked me and as explained by Compete's Danielle Nohe, it appears that the companies have tremendous different cultures.

Said Nohe, "With the massive number of applications downloaded to date, the iPhone has taken an early lead in getting owners to adopt app functionality and make popular applications a part of their daily lives... Once users are hooked, they're very unlikely to give up their device - that makes mobile the next can't miss opportunity for marketers."

Compete affirms ReadWriteWeb's statement that iPhone users are embracing paid apps. The research company suggests that users prefer to pay less than $5 dollars per app with the most popular downloads being social networking, entertainment, music, gaming, and weather applications. With the iPhone's culture of app downloading, it is obvious why developers covet the featured paid app spot in any one of these categories.

The top free application in the App Store's social networking category is Facebook and 71% of those surveyed reported accessing the website from their mobile handset. Nevertheless, Twitter usage appeared remarkably lower than expected. Compete reports that 85% of smartphone users still prefer to access Twitter from their computer rather than their mobile device. "Of the smartphone owners, who do access Twitter via their phones, 41 percent use the application to keep track of what their friends are doing, 32 percent use the service to keep up with current events and 19 percent tweet from their handset to build a fan base or promote their company." Given Facebook's recent slew of Twitter-like features, and the fact that Twitter has no official mobile application, perhaps the microblogging site is seen as a redundancy amongst this group.

Another interesting fact is that nearly half of the group was open to receiving location-based advertisements and discounts. Communities like Brightkite and Foursquare have already been exploring such ads as a revenue model. However, it will be interesting to see if they try to place their own ads or outsource the sponsorships to a location-based ad-serving network.

Related Post: fring is Now Available on the iPhone App Store

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