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There’s An App For That

June 2, 2010

While Apple may be best known for mobile apps, BlackBerry, Android and other devices also have a huge range of apps available in their stores, as well as in those operated by mobile service providers. With smartphones expected to overtake feature phones in the U.S. by 2011, the popularity of mobile apps will only grow.

To get a better sense of what’s popular and what’s not now, Nielsen recently launched its ‘App Playbook,’ surveying more than 4,200 people who had downloaded an application in the past 30 days.

Key Stats

21% of American wireless subscribers have a smartphone at Q4 2009, up from 19% in the previous quarter and significantly higher than the 14% at the end of 2008

14% of mobile subscribers have downloaded an app in the last 30 days

Games are the most downloaded – both free and paid

Average number of apps:

Android: 22
Palm: 14
Windows Mobile: 13
BlackBerry: 10

Facebook, Google Maps and Weather Channel are the most popular apps across smartphones

iPhones: Facebook (58%), iTunes (48%), Google Maps (47%)
Android: Google Maps (67%), Facebook (50%), Weather Channel (38%)
Blackberry: Facebook (51%), Google Maps(34%), Weather Channel (28%)

Social Networking: Facebook clearly favorite app, but MySpace is hugely popular among teens; LinkedIn attracts adults 25-44

News/weather: Weather Channel was used by 58%; age distribution across sites was similar, save for Time Mobile and Thomson Reuters

Shopping: Amazon and eBay lead (57% and 41%)

Search/Map: skew male, particularly Instamapper (80/20)

Video/Movie: skewed towards males; Imeem and Moviefone show a higher proportion of young users

Music: iTunes, Pandora, Sirius XM appeal more to males, while Yahoo Music almost evenly split (51/49)

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