App Culture

24% of US Adults are Active App Users (figure from PEW report linked above)

Interesting research from the PEW Research Center and Nielsen on The Rise of Apps Culture released earlier this month.

Key insights:

Of the 82% of adults today who are cell phone users, 43% have software applications or “apps” on their phones. When taken as a portion of the entire U.S. adult population, that equates to 35% who have cell phones with apps. . . . Of those who have apps on their phones, only about two-thirds of this group (68%) actually use that software. Overall, that means that 24% of U.S. adults are active apps users.

So nearly 1 in 4 U.S. adults report that they are actively using apps, which the report authors seem to think is low, noting that:

Broadly, results indicate that while apps are popular among a young, tech-hungry segment of the adult cell phone using population, a notable number of adult cell phone users are not part of apps culture. Many adults who have apps on their phones, particularly older adults, do not use them, and one in ten adults with a cell phone (11%) are not even sure if their phone is equipped with apps. Moreover, apps use ranks fairly low when compared with the use of other cell phone functions such as taking pictures and texting.

I guess this is a classic glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty scenario. Is it discouraging that only 1 in 4 US adults participates in “apps culture,” or is it encouraging that 82% of US adults are cell phone users, and nearly 1 in 4 are actively using applications on those phones?

Further, the data shows that age is the strongest predictor of app usage:

While 79% of 18-29 year-olds who have apps on their phones say they use them, that figure drops to 67% among 30-49 year-olds and just 50% among adults age 50 and older.

There’s lots more useful stuff in the report, which is available freely: download it and check it out.

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