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Study Reveals Smartphone Owners Don’t Download Apps


Ever read about a study and at first you’re excited by the results, and then you’re immediately let down? That just happened after reading about this smartphone study reported on PC World.

OpenCloud’s study revealed that only 39% of smart phone users download apps. The average user downloads 14 apps and then tends not to use them after the initial “WOOHOO APPS” period that occurs during the first few weeks of ownership.

My first thought was that consumers were focusing less on apps and more on specifics like hardware. That maybe consumers were getting smart and weren’t going to be duped into buying a phone based on the perfect app that corresponded with taking care of their gerbil. That maybe a new technology age was on us! Phone companies would focus on mobile browsing, hardware specs, and improving the OS. I was so excited!

Then I finished reading the post. Apparently, I was WAY off. Most consumers haven’t reached the point of buying phones based on apps. Most consumers are just paying for a fancily packaged feature phone.

46% of smartphone owners purchase their fancy, top-of-the line phone because it meant that they would “have the latest gadget.”

83% of the people are using their phone for texting, 47% are using their phone as a camera replacement, and 28% are using it in place of an iPod or similar MP3 player.

22% of owners DO actually use their smartphone to check emails, so I guess I should be happy that someone is using their smartphone as a smartphone.

The OpenCloud CEO apparently has a much more optimistic perspective than me on the study. He was quoted as saying “We know that consumers are increasingly savvy with technology, and in particular, their use and expectations of mobile phones.”

I’m not sure if he’s disturbingly optimistic, read the wrong study, or is one of the people who use the smartphone as an incredibly expensive feature phone, but somehow I don’t think this study exactly managed to show America’s technology prowess.

  1. I don’t think this is nearly as bad a stat as you’re making it out to be. After all, people have know for a long time that, when it comes to software, 80% of your users only use 20% of your features (quoting Joel Spolsky, 80/20 Myth). But the thing is, each of those 80% of uses is using a different 20%.

    So what if only 20% are using their smartphone for email, 50% are using it as a camera replacement, and 30% are using it as an iPod? Why doesn’t using an all-in-one gadget to reduce the amount of crap I’m lugging around count as a good use of the phone? People will make phones with better cameras and better audio, at the very least, no?

    1. Well, no, it’s not the worst stat in the world. However, this is a tech blog that discusses technology moving forward….

  2. You cant expect everyone to use thier phones so they are pushing the processing and hardware limits. but it is true that alot of people dont get the most out of thier phones. it is also true that alot of people actualy know what they are doing.

    1. That’s a valid point. While I don’t expect EVERYONE to use their phone to the highest potential, I was expecting more people than that study showed.

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