Five Apps Per iPhone? More Like 20 [Updated]
Here’s an interesting metric from market researcher InStat, and one that, to some extent, belies perceptions about the success of Apple’s App Store. While smartphone users are obviously intrigued by the smorgasbord of new mobile applications offered them, on the average they don’t really download very many. Said InStat’s Frank Dickson, “New and prospective smartphone buyers are drawn to new mobile applications, even though the median number of applications downloaded for all platforms, including the Apple iPhone, is relatively modest–below five applications per user for each platform.”
Fewer than five apps a piece. Not what you’d expect given Apple’s January announcement of the App Store’s 500 millionth download. Of course, this is the median number for all platforms. Clearly, that number skews quite a bit higher for the iPhone. By the end of 2008, Apple had sold 17.38 million iPhones worldwide. So if 500 million applications have been downloaded from its App Store, the average number of downloads for the iPhone platform alone is far, far greater than that. So much greater, in fact, that it likely elevated the median download average for all smartphones. After all, 500 million divided by 17.38 million is about 28. That figure doesn’t account for iPod Touch downloads (Apple doesn’t break out app sales for the iPod Touch), but it’s clear iPhone app downloads far exceed InStat’s 5 apps-per-smartphone average.
Impressive, no? And that average will surely grow in the months ahead. And if you’re skeptical of that claim, consider this second mobile app study from ABI Research. Conducted in November, it asked 235 U.S. smartphone users how much they had spent on apps in the last 12 months. The majority spent between nothing and $100. But almost 17 percent spent between $100 and $499.