App Market is a favourite app
App Market is a favourite app
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 24 March 2011

If you think the market for mobile apps is saturated, a recent survey suggests otherwise.

A Zokem survey of 10,000 smartphone users shows that while the most popular activities are pretty much what you’d expect to see, there are some surprises once you get beyond the obvious.

The survey looked at both the percentage of users for a  particular type of activity and the number of days per month the activity was carried out. You’ll not be surprised to hear that social networking, email, messaging, voice and browsing are all used by most users on most days per month.

Would you have appstore itself pegged as a winner, though?

Over 80 percent of the people surveyed say they use appstore as many as 10 days a month. This may not be as surprising as it initially seems; how often have you browsed appstore to see if there’s some interesting app that might be fun or useful? However, looked at from a programmer’s viewpoint, if people are looking for apps, that means they’re potential customers. They haven’t all bought all the apps they ever want, they’re still looking, so if you write that killer app it still has an audience.


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Working out what kind of app might appeal is a different matter. Weather, music and gaming all showed up as activities, but under 50% of users said they used their smartphone for these sectors. Adult entertainment was remarkably low with under 5% of users admitting to this.

The top 10 installed apps in order of popularity are YouTube, Facebook, QuickOffice, Amazon, Barcode Scanner, Angry Birds, Pandora, Advanced Task Killer, Adobe Reader, and Twitter. It’s a sad reflection of the quality of the apps that Advanced Task Killer appears in the top 10, even though most commentators thought it would itself be killed off by better memory and task management in recent versions of Android. It’s also worth noting that mobile commerce is becoming increasingly popular in the US among mobile consumers with 14% of smartphone owners using eBay on a monthly basis, and Amazon being the 4th most installed add-on application.


For programmers, though, the most important message of this survey is that while we don't know what that potential market is looking for, the evidence is clear that people are still looking!

We're off to start coding Annoyed Flying Things right now.



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