Are Users Slow to Adopt Mobile Apps?

September 17th, 2010
by David Aloisio
Image Source: WMPowerUser.com

Image Source: WMPowerUser.com

I have an old phone.

I know it’s old because I’ve kept it longer than the service agreement I signed when I bought it. I know it’s old because it still has the logo of a now defunct cellular company on it. I also know it’s old because of my inability to download apps of any kind.

However, despite my phones technical limitations, it appears that I may not be the only one hasn’t been filling their phone with the all the latest available applications.

According to Mark Welsh’s recent story on Mediapost.com, Pew: Only Two-Thirds Of Cell Users With Apps Use Them, only four in ten mobile phone users have apps on their phone. And just two-thirds, of that 40 percent, actually use them.

(Not sure which apps to choose for the Droid? Check out this post from my BurrellesLuce colleague Johna Burke.)

Welsh notes that the download and use of applications is “still not among the most popular mobile data activities, with only 29 percent of mobile subscribers having downloaded an app…” In fact, “People are more likely to use their phones to take a picture, text-message, browse the Web, email, record a video, play music and send instant messages than they are to access an app.”

Does this mean that downloading the latest apps for my mobile device isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be? I have to admit; it’d be nice to have sporting event updates or get restaurant reviews before leaving the house and then be able to accurately calculate a good tip.

However, like many of those surveyed, I use my phone as, well, a phone. The reliability of the service is paramount. Anything beyond that is just gravy.

Of course, there are always benefits to owning an older phone. For one, unlike so many people, I can break my cell phone contract without a penalty. Also, I never get frustrated with my phone because I really expect nothing from it other than the most basic of services.

Confidentially, though, I’m really just waiting for my birthday present iPad anyway.

How about you? Have you been quick to download apps? If so, do you still use them? If you haven’t added any or no longer use them, why?

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One Response to “Are Users Slow to Adopt Mobile Apps?”

  1. Mike McKenna says:

    You’re singing to the choir! I get calls all of the time to offer me a new cell phone because my contract was up a long time ago. I am happy to make and receive calls on my “old” phone too.

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