Study confirms continued rise in smartphone app consumption

Oct 6, 2010
Tech

Smartphones make up less than 25 percent of the mobile phone market in the U.S., but their owners consume more than 60 percent of the app market and make up more than 55 percent of mobile browser use. That’s according to an article on the marketing website ClickZ, which details a study that finds mobile […]

Smartphones make up less than 25 percent of the mobile phone market in the U.S., but their owners consume more than 60 percent of the app market and make up more than 55 percent of mobile browser use.

That’s according to an article on the marketing website ClickZ, which details a study that finds mobile app and browser use on smartphones rose sharply in just the last year. In August of 2009, smartphones made up just 43 percent of the downloadable app market, and accounted for 41 percent of browser use.

ComScore, the market research company responsible for the numbers, suggests companies working on mobile software should focus on smartphones, since their presence in the market is so dominating.

Beyond the obvious

All this info might be a little bit “duh” inducing for smartphone owners. Of course they dominate app and browser use – that’s what these phones are for!

But from a business standpoint, there’s a ton of money to be made in this market, and that means more businesses getting in on the action. An already flooded app market may be on its way to getting bigger, more flooded, and ultimately more confusing.

The app market is exploding in a lot of different ways. In-app advertising already brings in a lot of revenue for various companies – when talking about the iPhone, Apple gets a cut of all that revenue. Analysts expect that market to be worth $8 billion in five years.

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An industry growing up quickly

Right now, perusing the iTunes App Store is a chore. There are thousands of apps to look through, all with their own functions, categories, ratings, updates, prices and drawbacks. Finding decent ones isn’t easy, even for people who do it for a living. Part of that is because right now, the industry is young and lots of businesses, whether they’re headquartered in skyscrapers or garages, are fighting for a place.

But that won’t always be the case, and already, the app industry is changing. A good example: companies acquiring other companies, such as Cellfish Media buying mobile app publisher Airborne Mobile, as reported by TechCrunch.

The newly formed Airborne Studios looks to be a huge force in the mobile software market, garnering something like 110 licensing partners. Those are partners, as TechCrunch points out, such as football leagues, popular TV shows and publications, and big presences on the web such as College Humor.com. Airborne Mobile has already racked up about four million downloads for its mobile applications.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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