Half of people with a smartphone don’t download apps

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 15:58pm

While Google and Apple continue to fight it out to see which one has the biggest app store, new US research shows that 49% of smartphone users never download any apps at all.

APP buttons in a rainbow of colours

APP buttons in a rainbow of colours

ComScore’s recent 2016 US Mobile App Report (you need to register to receive the report free) indicates that 49% of users in the US have never downloaded a single app, including of course those apps providing accessibility. While that may be a significant number, the figure is down from 70% in September 2015, so people may be getting more comfortable with using smartphones, or apps such as Pokémon Go and Uber have ramped up app downloading.

The report, which deep-dives into some of the largest and fastest growing apps, including Facebook, Snapchat and Pokémon Go, found that fewer than 13% (of the 51% that do use apps) account for more than half of all the download activity in the USA. That equates to 7.5% of all smartphone users, and most of these are millennials.

Some observers believe that the results point to the fact that half of US users use their smartphone just as a mobile phone and as a camera, not caring about the 'computer in the pocket' experience. This is also backed up by recent Statistica data that shows a typical US user spends an average (across all brands and specifications) US $261.30 on a smartphone, which is forecast to fall to $214.7 by 2019.

Yet a new grant-funded website created by Media Access Australia focusses on promoting hi-tech devices that can provide a ‘computer in a pocket’ or on a USB for that matter, with a wide variety of accessible options priced under $250 AUD. Check out the Affordable Access website for all the details.


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