One year ago, less than 40% of mobile subscribers in the United States had a smartphone. That number has increased dramatically, however; according to Nielsen, one in two mobile subscribers now owns a smartphone. Driven mostly by the rise of Android and iOS, which account for more than 80% of the U.S. smartphone market, 2012 has turned into the year of the app. The average number of apps installed on each smartphone has jumped 28% in 2012, an increase from 32 apps to 41. Smartphone owners are also spending increasingly more time using apps than using the mobile web, roughly 10% more than last year. Nielsen notes that the top five most active apps continue to be Facebook, YouTube, Android Market (now Google Play Store), Google Search and Gmail. Despite the increase of apps, smartphone owners spend roughly the same amount of time using them each day — 37 minutes in 2011, compared to 39 minute in 2012. More →
With Instagram recently having been acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and OMGPOP, makers of Draw Something, cashing in for $200 million, developers are attacking the mobile app space with a renewed vigor. Before jumping head first into a new project aiming to be the next big acquisition target, developers might be wise to look over a white paper recently put together by App Promo. More →
While technology enthusiasts look forward to a number of high-end smartphone announcements vendors are preparing for Mobile World Congress next month, 2012 will see entry-level smartphones become more popular than ever. Market research firm Deloitte estimates that the number of sub-$100 smartphones in use globally will surpass 500 million this year, and by the end of 2012 there will be 200 million NFC-equipped devices in the hands of consumers. The firm also sees apps continuing to play a huge role in the mobile market, with the number of available apps set to top 2 million later this year. “The number of apps available reached one million in December 2011 and will double again by the end of 2012,” Deloitte TMT analyst Jolyon Barker said in a statement. “However, the proportion that are paid for remains small. Only a fifth of downloaded apps sell more than 1,000 copies and only a tiny proportion of unpromoted apps will ever become successful.” The firm’s full press release follows below. More →
Arguments have been made that web apps will gain momentum as mobile browsers become more capable, but not everyone sees mobile apps losing momentum any time soon. A new report from Berg Insights suggests that mobile app downloads will continue growing at a compound annual rate of 56.6% between last year and 2015, when nearly 1 trillion apps will be downloaded globally. “Even though the download numbers will increase during the forecast period, most apps are free to download and app monetisation will be a challenge for developers”, Berg senior analyst Johan Svanberg said in a statement. “Free to download monetisation strategies such as in-app advertising and in-app purchasing will be increasingly important. This is especially true in the APAC region, which will account for over 40 percent of all mobile app downloads in 2015.” Berg Insights’ full press release follows below. More →
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration may soon approve or reject mobile health applications. The government agency said on Wednesday that it is proposing to oversee the applications in an effort to ensure the apps perform as advertised and aren’t actually hurting users. “There are advantages to using medical apps, but consumers and health care professionals should have a balanced awareness of the benefits and risks,” FDA policy advisor Bakul Patel said. The administration hopes to approve and reject mobile applications that:
- Are used as an accessory to an FDA-regulated medical device. For example, an app could enable a health care professional to view medical images on an iPad and make a diagnosis;
- Transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device. For example, an app that turns a smartphone into an electrocardiography, or ECG, machine to detect abnormal heart rhythms or determine if a patient is experiencing a heart attack.
“We want to hear from as many consumers, advocacy groups, health care professionals, and software creators and distributors as possible to help us finalize the proposed guidelines,” Patel said. The proposed guidelines will be published on Wednesday.
We now spend more time using mobile apps than on the Internet, according to a new research report from Flurry. The firm, which pulls its data from more than 85,000 applications, noted that in June 2011 the average person spent 81 minutes using mobile applications each day and just 74 minutes surfing the web. That’s up from December, when the firm found that users spent more time surfing the web (70 minutes) than using mobile apps (66 minutes). More surprisingly, it’s a 91% jump from last year when users spent just under 43 minutes using mobile apps, versus 64 minutes spent surfing the web. Flurry also found that mobile users spend 47% of their time playing games, 32% of their time browsing social networks, 9% reading the news, and 7% using other “entertainment” apps. Finally, the company said that 14 of the 74 minutes spent per day by consumers on the Internet is spent browsing Facebook. More →
If there’s one thing the world needs right now, there’s no doubt in our minds it’s another on-device application store. Lucky for us, LG seems to agree. The electronics giant has launched its mobile app store in Asia and is setting its sights on going global (Europe and South America, no US yet) by the end of 2009. The creatively named “LG Application Store” will see 1,400 applications right out the gate – quite impressive for an app store at launch — with about 100 of those applications available for free. We can’t say we’re overly impressed with the ratio of free to paid apps, but anything is better than the selection of 30 that Pre users are currently forced to pick from. If and when LG’s offering makes it to the US however, we would expect the number of free (and total) apps to have grown substantially — pending some level of success of course.