Research: Apps don’t really matter, people only download them when they get a new phone

OpenCloud, a technology firm that sells hardware and software that enables operators to deploy services on the cheap, has commissioned a survey, performed by research agency Loudhouse, on 1,000 mobile users in the UK. The results are not what you would typically expect if all you rely on for an accurate depiction of the mobile space is the media. The most popular features that customers take advantage of are the ones you’ve heard before: 83% text, 47% take photos, 29% use the internet, 28% listen to music, and 22% do email. What’s surprising is that 45% of people have the ability to download applications, yet only 39% of those people regularly do so. There’s a huge 50% chunk of individuals who don’t even download applications, showing that people tend to load their phone up with apps once they get a new device, but then never really bother with checking back for new ones at a later point in time. An average smartphone user has 14 applications installed, 38% use only free applications, 20% have never even downloaded an application, and 43% don’t ever plan on installing anything ever again.

As to why people buy the latest and greatest devices, a whopping 46% said they do it just because they don’t like having out of date hardware and want to appear as modern. Mapping and other location based services accounted for 25% of the reason people upgrade, and 21% say they wanted to access their social networks on the go.

But wait, Apple fans will quote Steve Jobs and how well the App Store is doing, but honestly, who cares? Give people a map, a browser, a camera, and an email client, and they’ll probably never need to install anything ever again. Gaming? Really? It’s big for people who actually have time to waste on those sort of activities, but like survey after survey says, texting rules, everything else drools.

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