Pew survey on mobile applications adoption

Todd Vandenbark

According to a recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project:

Some 35% of U.S. adults have software applications or “apps” on their phones, yet only 24% of adults use those apps. Many adults who have apps on their phones, particularly older adults, do not use them, and 11% of cell owners are not sure if their phone is equipped with apps.

The report goes on to note several additional observations about mobile app users:

  • Apps users are younger, more educated, and more affluent than other cell phone users.
  • App use ranks relatively low (9th) on a list of “non-voice cell phone use.”
  • 29% of adult cell phone users have downloaded an app to their phone.
  • One in eight adult cell phone users (13%) has paid to download an app.
  • Data indicate that games are the most popular apps, followed by news/weather, maps/navigation, social networking, and music.

The authors of the blog post summarizing their findings call this “the Rise of Apps Culture” and call it a “pretty remarkable tech adoption story.” Yet games are the most popular items to download. Perhaps this is not a story of how one society adopted a new tech paradigm in record time. Rather it may just be people with “disposable” income acting like a kid who just got paid his/her allowance and raced to the corner drug store to buy a pack of sports trading cards for the new season.

What do you think?