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Study says that apps are not important to smartphone owners

Study says that apps are not important to smartphone owners
There are those who will tell you that the Palm Pre failed because it was launched without a fully stocked online app store. Some will tell you that they will not buy a Windows Phone model because of the smaller Windows Marketplace. BlackBerry App World has been compared by some to a KMart toy department after Xmas with nothing but empty shelves. But are apps that important to smartphone users? A new study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project suggests that apps are not so important after all.

According to the study, 68% of smartphone users open 5 or fewer apps at least once a week. Amazingly, 42% of those responding to the survey have not installed one app on their phone. Pew researcher Kristen Purcell says that the reason why excitement about apps fades is that, "The novelty wears off." But those apps that do stay on a phone are used quite often. According to Nielsen's Monica Bannan, Android users on average spend 90 minutes a day on their phone with 67% of that time used for running apps. Bannan says that this also applies to Apple iPhone owners. A good example of this behavior comes from Atlanta newsletter writer Ghada Elnajjar. Back in June she purchased an Apple iPhone 4 and quickly installed 26 apps. After a while, she says that the apps are no longer fun and now there are only 2 she uses regularly, Facebook and MyFitnessPal. 

Apps come and go. Anindya Datta, founder of Mobilewalla, an app analytic firm, says that "We are constantly deleting them. That's why the number of downloads is a very poor measure of how popular an app is." Datta notes that 80% to 90% of apps are eventually deleted. That is why an app that is kept by 30% of those who download it is considered to be a "sticky" app. Human nature might be behind the desire to change apps. Each month, 10 of the Top 50 apps is new. According to Datta, of the 1 million apps available for users of the top 4 mobile platforms, only 10% of them have been discovered.

source: USAToday

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