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Apple iPhone Users Buy More Apps

Users of competing mobile devices appear to be less keen to open their wallets.

In a report released on Thursday, AdMob, the mobile analytics company acquired by Google late last year, says that while users of Android devices and iPhones download a similar number of apps every month and spend about the same amount of time using those apps, iPhone users consume more paid apps than users of Android or Palm webOS devices.

Among iPhone users, 50% download at least one paid app per month, according to AdMob. Among Android and Palm webOS users, 21% and 24% respectively download at least one paid app per month. For iPod touch users, that number is 35%.

This isn't necessarily bad news for Google, which makes money off of mobile Internet advertising, the likely source of revenue in free apps. But it does suggest that Android developers may have to wait a while before the revenue potential of paid apps in the Android Market matches the opportunity in the iTunes App Store.

AdMob's statistics also indicate that iPod touch users download an average of 12 apps per month, 37% more apps than iPhone and Android users, and spend 100 minutes a day using apps, 25% more time than iPhone or Android users.

This appears to be consistent with the finding that iPod touch users are younger than iPhone, Android, and webOS users, with 78% of them under the age of 25. Young people presumably have more time to fritter away using apps than their elders. Among iPhone, Android, and webOS users, about 25% are under 25.

The youth of iPod touch users may help explain Apple's recent decision to remove apps with overtly sexual content from its App Store.

AdMob's report also reveals that significantly more Android user are male (73%) than webOS users (58%), iPhone users (57%) or iPod touch users (54%).

However, Android users appear to be less thrilled with their devices than iPhone users. According to AdMob, 91% of iPhone users would recommend their device, compared to 88% of iPod touch users, 84% of Android users and 69% of webOS users.

This relative lack of user enthusiasm for Palm's webOS is mirrored by lack of investor enthusiasm for the company. Palm's stock closed down almost 20% on Thursday following lowered revenue projections.

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