“Most smartphone users download zero apps per month” or more correctly, “those on low end phones, which make the majority of end users download zero apps per month”

Just reading this article ( link ) and funny enough OSNews.com linked to it as well with Thom, in his usual ground breaking analysis stated the following:

Companies like Apple like to boast about the ‘app economy’, but in reality, the situation is a whole lot less rosy and idealistic than they make it out to be. I think most smartphone buyers download the bare essentials like Facebook, Twitter, Candy Crush, and their local banking application, and call it quits.

Together with the problematic state of application stores, the ‘app economy’ isn’t as sustainable as once thought.

Small problem with that assumption is that firstly it assumes that Android and iOS play in the exact same market spaces when in reality that just simply isn’t the case – as I’ve stated numerous times in the past, 66% of Android device sales are at the low end, no, not the Nexus low end but the REALLY low end such as Alcatel, Huawei, ZTE and others where you can get such phones for NZ$200 off contract (to be honest, most of them are just above the classification of a feature phone). Also there are some other factors – for a large number of people who fall into the demographic you’ll find their main things they want to do can be accomplished either via the web browser such as online banking or they use the pre-bundled applications. For example, for a large number of Android phones you already get Facebook pre-installed so that will never be registered as a download because it came pre-installed – that is the case for many applications that Samsung users experience because all of what they need is already on the phone.

Now, I’m not slamming the low end entry phones (because for many, they’re more than adequate to do the job that needs to be done) but it is important that when analysing a given topic that a full understanding of the nuances is required before jumping to conclusions about the usage habits of those in that segment of the market. As for ‘App Store’ curated markets they have their issues particularly when we have the amount of crap that is sold and at times the number of titles make it difficult to find sorts of applications but with that being said one shouldn’t simply throw out the whole idea because of one or two problems – the focus should be on how one fixes the problem; better search algorithms, cracking down on vendors who put 100 variations of the same application that do all the same thing etc. because boasting about number of applications may sound great for a press release but in reality the focus should be on quality and keeping that bar high as to avoid the tsunami of crap that exists out there.

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