Games, social media, news/weather and maps led the way in the past month or so in terms of smartphone use. Predictions are that smartphones will move ahead of feature phones here in the US by next year. This creates even more of a market for mobile apps, and more of an opportunity for iAds.
The State of Mobile Apps
“There’s an app for that” is Apple’s catch phrase to promote the literally thousands of applications that can be downloaded to an iPhone. Whether you want to check the weather or traffic, bide time playing a game, or study a new language, there is likely a free or paid application that you can access. While Apple may be best known for mobile apps, BlackBerry, Android and other devices also have a huge range of apps available in their stores, as well as in those operated by mobile service providers. With smartphones expected to overtake feature phones in the U.S. by 2011, the popularity of mobile apps will only grow. To get a better sense of what’s popular and what’s not now, Nielsen recently launched its ‘App Playbook,’ surveying more than 4,200 people who had downloaded an application in the past 30 days.
- 21% of American wireless subscribers have a smartphone at Q4 2009, up from 19% in the previous quarter and significantly higher than the 14% at the end of 2008
- 14% of mobile subscribers have downloaded an app in the last 30 days
- Average number of apps: Smartphone: 22, Feature phone: 10
- BlackBerry: 10
- Android: 22
- Palm: 14
- Windows Mobile: 13
Who is downloading what?
Games are the most downloaded – both free and paid
- Facebook, Google Maps and Weather Channel are the most popular apps across smartphones
- iPhones: Facebook (58%), iTunes (48%), Google Maps (47%)
- Android: Google Maps (67%), Facebook (50%), Weather Channel (38%)
- Blackberry: Facebook (51%), Google Maps(34%), Weather Channel (28%)
- Social Networking: Facebook clearly favorite app, but MySpace is hugely popular among teens; LinkedIn attracts adults 25-44
- News/weather: Weather Channel was used by 58%; age distribution across sites was similar, save for Time Mobile and Thomson Reuters
- Shopping: Amazon and eBay lead (57% and 41%)
- Search/Map: skew male, particularly Instamapper (80/20)
- Video/Movie: skewed towards males; Imeem and Moviefone show a higher proportion of young users
- Music: iTunes, Pandora, Sirius XM appeal more to males, while Yahoo Music almost evenly split (51/49)