Did you know that most US smartphone owners download exactly zero apps monthly?

Did you know that most US smartphone owners download exactly zero apps monthly?
Even though smartphone popularity is at an all-time high, most US smartphone owners download no more than zero apps in the span of a month!Yes, according to a comScore survey, a whopping 65.5% of users don't even bother trying out a new app, while a comparatively miniscule 2.4% download more than 8 apps a month. So, apparently 34.5% of US smartphone users account for 100% of the app download activity over a typical month. Yikes!

So, what's up with that? Well, smartphone users still access and search for apps every day. In fact, people actually love their apps! comScore says that as much as 42% of all app time spent on a smartphone is spent with everyone's most used app. Talk about spending quality time! So why don't users get new apps as often? Well, a possible explanation is the apps that people already have installed on their devices do more than fine. And most of these apps either come stock, or are built by established companies, such as Facebook, Google, Pandora, and Yahoo — making it hard to consider an alternative by a different developer.

Another possible explanation is that Apple and Google's app stores could benefit from an improvement in their app discovery facilities. The App Store and Google Play both give users top ranking lists, passable (but not very refined) search engines, and hardly any editorial features to bring apps to the spotlight. They expose the popular and big name apps, alright, but it's still very hard for small, yet clever new apps to surface and get noticed.

So, how many new apps did you actually download in September? Care to tell us about it in the comments? We must admit, we aren't super-heavy app users here at PhoneArena, as we often find that Android and iOS's essential apps cover pretty much all our needs. But new games are always a treat, and running our App Spotlight column exposes us to interesting new apps every day, so we do stay in touch with Apple and Google's stores, even if we don't shop super often!

via QZ



1. dimas

Posts: 3394; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

1 or 2 game apps every month for me. Try a game, get tired, delete if it's boring then find another one. For the 'productivity' apps, just download them all in one drop in a new phone then let the months pass by.

2. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

I'm one of them.

3. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

kinda funny, I don't think I've downloaded anything new in about a month.

4. Cn_Se

Posts: 20; Member since: Mar 27, 2012

you can make a poll about this how many apps do you download in a month ? the number of people not downloading any apps in a month will be very very few, my guess, less than 10%

8. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

But Sites Like Phonearena Aren't Made Up Of Average Smartphone Users. We Likely All Fall In That 34.5% Of Users That Account For 100% Of Monthly Downloads. I Know Every One Here Isn't From The US But You Know What Mean.

40. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

i agree. i'm always checking out the editors choice apps in the play store, trying to find something new and different.

5. Godfather

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 31, 2012

3-5 apps a month for me. Funny I met a client the other day who was telling me he spends $400-$500 month on apps or IAP. that's crazy!

6. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Usually 2-3 For Me. But This Month I've Downloaded 12 New Apps.

7. PorkyBurger

Posts: 585; Member since: May 18, 2013

I don't download anything either. Unless I really REALLY need it. Just because I don't have any free space left. and deleting all those useless photos is a nightmare. I have to mark so many photos that my 5S can't even handle it and everything gets laggy and I get huge screen response delays, lmao. Oh, iPhone and your tiny base model storage capacity. ( ´_ゝ`)*sigh*

9. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

This is why I think it is so ridiculous when people rant and rave about how many apps are in their phone's store. The real question is can you get the specific apps or equivalent apps you need?

15. Kame_Hame_Haaaaa

Posts: 360; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

Agree and dissagre. While some old people might only need several apps. The number were intended to gammer who download new game every now and then.

10. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

95 percent of the apps I have on my phone I've used for years.

11. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Depends. Productivity apps are the hardest to download every month, because once you find that app, why download a new Calendar app every month? or calculator? or youtube app? So most likely the apps that are getting the most attention are games on a revolving door basis. What helps me discover apps is actually windowscentral with their spotlight free apps or just a review of a really good app that makes me try it out. Despite my phone at one point having 200+ apps they were downloaded in a short burst and not on a revolving basis.

20. Penny

Posts: 1869; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I pretty much agree with this. You generally get all your main apps setup in a short burst initially. Once in a while you will add a new app to utilize some new product or service, and a little more frequently you might try a new app for entertainment/games, i.e. on the "revolving door" basis as you put it. But I think after I have all my main apps, I don't even visit the store unless something in the real world piques my interest and then I search for that specifically.

13. jove39

Posts: 2148; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

There is fix set of apps that I use and once phone is setup...I rarely install new app...just regular updates for existing apps.

14. Kame_Hame_Haaaaa

Posts: 360; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

My mom never download new apps. She just use Sudoku, Google Photo, Google Hangout, What's App, We Chat, Line & Chrome web browser. My dad download a couple of traveling apps (hotel & airline) beside the one that my mom use. But that's it. But my kids download/try a couple of games every week. Old people don't download new apps everyday.

16. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I don't download anything on my phone. I just download the 3 or 4 apps I need when I get the phone and then never again. For games, comics, and books it's strictly on my tablets. For movies and music it's strictly on my HTPC. I honestly have no idea why people read books on their tiny screens. Get a tablet or ereader for Christ sakes. My work related apps go strictly on my work phone.

17. Kame_Hame_Haaaaa

Posts: 360; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

Some use big screen smartphone that called phablet because don't feel bringing a tablet or ereader everyday for Christ sakes.

21. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Leave it in your car or at work or leave it at home. Why do you need to read when you are outside doing things anyways. Lol

35. Kame_Hame_Haaaaa

Posts: 360; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

Each person have their unique lifestyle. Some want to read while waiting, i.e. waiting in doctor/dentist lineup. Some, reading on a long commute to work (on a bus / train). Some, reading while waiting their kid on school / tutor.

24. Penny

Posts: 1869; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I wouldn't condone reading books on a phone/phablet/tablet in general. E-readers like the Kindle are much better because they are a lot easier on the eyes. Convenience is a factor, but not as important to me. Then again I still like reading paper back books! Only really need to carry one at a time anyway, and can add them to my library for others to enjoy.

36. Kame_Hame_Haaaaa

Posts: 360; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

Perhaps you should bought a better phone? A phone with higher res display?

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

So when I buy a phone, I download and install all the apps I use on it and that's it. I rarely download anything else. Same for my tablets. For me I just cant get into mobile gaming like I use to 30 years ago when I played with GameBoy's and similar. I keep an ipad around because it has access to updated graphics versions of many of my favorite old school games. But they tend to be too short and boring after awhile. On my tablet I have a joypad and I emulators for all my favorite consoles and I pay the original ROMs. That keep s me busy enough that I'm not interested in to much of the new stuff. My rule for games is, I keep playing it until I beat it. Once i beat it there is no need to play. Bejeweled is the only game I keep constantly on all my devices and HomeRun Battle. In my iOS library I have roughly 80 games and only half of them I ever finished. I have almost every Angry Birds, but never completed one, because I got bored to fast and they came out to quick. Now I have one game for certain categories. I have one puzzle, one board game, one word game and 1 arcade game and one sports game on all my mobile devices and that's it. When I get done, I replace it with a game I already have and need to finish, before I even think of looking for a new one. For productivity? I have Microsoft Office and my Note Pro does too along with the Spen apps I didnt need to download anything else. I have my own Budget application I made using Excel and it works perfect on Excel for Android/iOS. Al that is left is apps I use to pay bills. So I am one of those who really doesnt download any apps per month. I might get a new app once or twice in a 6 month period.

19. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

If your phone only has 16GB, you can't download a bunch of apps anyways. 32GB is basically to small too. 64GB is the bare minimum and 128GB is for now an option if you dont have much media.

25. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

only games are really large though, most apps wont exclipes 50MB, well good ones imo.

38. Shocky unregistered

You can install a lot of apps on a 32GB device, 16GB is a bit limiting though.

42. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Depends, I have had over 100 apps on a 16GB phone, however, for games, it is extremely limiting. My favorite dealings with customers are people who bought their kid a phone only to find it has 4GB storage, 2GB+ eaten by Android, and has 1GB available, and that 1 game has killed their memory. Then get mad that they shouldn't have been sold the phone knowing it was 'limited'.

22. darealist

Posts: 107; Member since: Feb 25, 2015

Software library on mobile os are trash. And we have many dweebs here demanding faster hardwares when the softwares are total crap.

23. MSi_GS70 unregistered

I NEVER purchased even single any app in my life .. am not idiot ;)

37. Shocky unregistered

Why not? you appear to be proud you're never supported any developers. So either you only use free apps or you illegally obtain paid apps from another source. :)

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