Mobile Apps See Rising Demand

Games, social networking, maps are top software categories for users of iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry devices, finds Nielsen.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

September 9, 2010

2 Min Read

Top 20 Android Productivity Apps

Top 20 Android Productivity Apps

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Top 20 Android Productivity Apps

Consumers initially acquired cell phones for their calling capability. Increasingly, however, they are buying mobile phones for their applications, and in particular gaming apps, according to a new Nielsen Company Apps Playbook survey.

Games are the most popular app category, with 61% of smartphone owners and 52% of feature phone owners reporting they had used a games application in the past 30 days. Nielsen surveyed some 4,000 mobile subscribers who downloaded a mobile app in the past 30 days and compared it with Nielsen figures compiled in December.

The rankings were led by iPhone owners, who averaged 40 apps on their phones, compared to 37 apps in December 2009. In second place were Android owners, who reported having 25 downloaded apps on their handsets -- up from 22 in December. BlackBerry owners averaged 14 apps, an increase from the 10 apps they had in December.

After games, the most popular downloaded category is social networking, namely Facebook, which led most apps by a wide margin. One-half of iPhone users and about 45% of Android and BlackBerry users have a Facebook app on their handsets.

Android users' most popular app by a slim margin is Google Maps, with a 46% usage figure. Thirty-six percent of iPhone users have Google Maps on their devices. Also popular on all three major brands -- iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry -- was the Weather Channel.

"With the ongoing growth in popularity of connected devices such as touchscreen tablets, eReaders, and media players, mobile apps are likely to flourish beyond phones and on these devices as well," according to the Nielsen report. "Games are the most popular app category on all connected devices, just as they are on smartphones and feature phones, while the iPod Touch currently leads all connected devices in apps downloads."

Nielsen noted that all categories of apps are more popular on smartphones than on feature phones -- an indication that the additional computing power, larger screens, and touch interfaces of smartphones encourage users to download robust apps.

For Further Reading

Mobile Apps To Hit 25 Billion By 2015

Apple Offers App Store Discounts To Schools

Nielsen To Offer Copyright Protection System For The Web

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