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Only 31% of UK mobile customers use apps

13 августа 2010

comScore this week issued a reality check to U.K. mobile players after revealing that just 31% of customers use mobile applications.

That means that 33.5 million users in a mobile market of 48.5 million people are not accessing apps, said the research firm in its latest MobiLens survey.

71% of U.K. smartphone owners use applications; however, smartphones account for just 28% of the total mobile customer base, comScore said. And in June 2010 only 15.2% of non-smartphone owners accessed apps, down from 16% in the same month a year ago.

comScore's vice president of mobile in Europe, Jeremy Copp, said the findings jar with the continuing hype over applications and app stores.

"There's a huge amount of coverage on apps at the moment. If you'd just landed on the planet you'd think that apps is all there is," he said to Total Telecom earlier this week.

"It's not an accident that everyone is talking about apps," he added. "'There's an app for that' is entering the lexicon of the mobile user... but we're still at an early stage of the industry."

Copp explained that operators, software developers and brands need to consider carefully whether mobile applications represent the best way to reach their audience.

"The data shows that you shouldn't expect to reach everyone," he warned, reminding marketers that they have other channels at their disposal.

"Don't forget you've also got SMS, MMS, mobile Internet delivery capabilities, and your own portal properties," he said.

Despite the hype around Apple's App Store, the Android Market, Nokia's Ovi Store, and multi-platform app store GetJar – the last reached 1 billion downloads in June - Copp insisted that low usage levels among consumers means there are still opportunities to carve out a share of the app sector.

"New players aren't coming into a saturated market if only a relatively small proportion of users are using apps," he said.

Copp also played down the risk that too many application stores could lead to a fragmented market – whereby software developers are spread too thinly across myriad platforms, and consumers are unable to access and use the same app on different handsets running different operating systems.

"The value chain almost can't afford conformity," he said, "Handset manufacturers have to differentiate their form factors and their experiences – with uniformity it's harder for them to build in value."

Источник: Total Telecom

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