iPhone Users Willing To Pay For Applications

Users of BlackBerry, Nokia, and HTC smartphones are far less likely than iPhone users to download applications to their devices.

Even with smartphone use exploding, new owners of the mobile platforms generally appear to be using their handsets in the same manner as the earliest smartphone users did nearly two years ago -- iPhone owners use their devices primarily for entertainment and personal use, while BlackBerry, Nokia, and HTC owners are more likely to use their handsets for business reasons.

While a new poll out this week by Compete found that 73% of iPhone owners operate their devices for personal purposes, 59% of other smartphone users view their BlackBerry, HTC, and Nokia handsets as business devices.

The behavior patterns have remained similar over the past several months even as Apple opened up its App Store with more than 35,000 applications. Significantly, the games category has the largest number of applications in the Apple store.

Compete’s Smartphone Intelligence Report provides insight not only into the types of applications that are most in demand, but what smartphone users will pay for them. The survey is understandably skewed in favor of the iPhone because its application store is significantly more advanced than the offerings of other smartphone manufacturers, which are working to catch up with their own online applications stores.

Compete found that 24% of iPhone users said they have spent between $10 and $50 for a single application, and another 28% said they have spent between $5 and $10 for an application.

The most commonly downloaded applications for the iPhone were games, 79%; entertainment, 78%; weather, 57%; and music, 55%. In terms of usage, iPhone users said they used weather-related applications the most, followed by Facebook and games.

Only 2% of iPhone owners said they haven’t downloaded a single application, while 27% of the entire smartphone population said they haven’t downloaded any applications. The survey found that 41% of all smartphone users said they don't see any reason to add applications.

"When asked how they decided which applications to download to their phone, 60% of all smartphone owners said they spend time looking through all the applications to discover them on their own," said Compete.

In another survey out this week, advertising researcher Greystripe found great support for games among iPhone users. Greystripe said 80% of those polled said they would consider downloading additional iPhone games.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the use of business software on smartphones. Download the report here (registration required).

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