The most recent Pew Internet Project survey asked a national (U.S.) sample of 1,917 cell phone-using adults if they use apps and how they use them. Broadly, the results indicate that while apps are popular among a segment of the adult cell phone using population, a notable number of cell owners are not yet part of the emerging apps culture.
35% of adults have cell phones with apps, but only two-thirds of those who have apps actually use them. (While 35% of adults have apps on their phones, only about two-thirds (68%) of adults who have apps report actually using them. That means that 24% of all adults in the U.S. use apps.)
29% of adult cell phone users have downloaded an app to their phone.
Apps users are younger, more educated, and more affluent than other cell phone users
One in ten adult cell phone users do not know if they have apps on their phone.
One in ten adult cell phone users (10%) had downloaded an app in the past week; 20% of cell phone users under age 30 download apps this frequently
One in eight adult cell phone users (13%) has paid to download an app.
Among cell phone users with apps, the average adult has 18 apps on his or her phone
Heavy technology users are particularly likely to have apps on their phones and to use the apps they have
Nielsen data indicate that games are the most popular apps, followed by news/weather, maps/navigation, social networking, and music. (For more on the popularity of games and other apps among mobile subscribers, see Nielsen’s September 9, 2010 report “Games Dominate America’s Growing Appetite for Mobile Apps.” Or the post “Social Media And Games Dominate Online Activity [Nielsen Wire]”)
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