Mobile apps continue growing across all operating systems both in the U.S. and Europe. comScore’s June report revealed that as of April, 70 million U.S. consumers used mobile application software.
In Europe, 82 million mobile users in five countries–U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Italy–downloaded software, while 59 million preferred accessing the Web with their browsers.
Mobile Apps Tally by OS
Here are the latest mobile app store stats:
- iPhone = 285,000
- Android – 100,000
- Rim – 10,000
- Windows – 1,000
- Palm – 5,000
Since the smartphone app war started a few years ago, virtually everyone–brands, carriers, handset makers, end-users, the press, bloggers and research companies–gauged the success of a smartphone by number of available applications. After all, the main difference between smartphones and feature phones is mobile application software.
Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Web
Apple’s iPhone App Store now offers 285,000 applications, while apps for Android phones jumped through the ceiling in the past six months to 100,000. This isn’t surprising considering that over 30% of all smartphones sold in the past six months, per Nielsen, run the Android operating system. BlackBerry, Palm and Windows total only 16,000.
But the totals are a bit deceiving. According to an eMarketer report, most mobile users still prefer using their browsers to access mobile websites except for games, music and social media, the three most popular mobile apps categories.
Branded apps–Sears, CNN, FedEx–represent a small but growing segment. However, brands with mobile-friendly websites tend to avoid apps, especially if customers prefer using their mobile browsers.
Too Many Mobile Apps?
Although the mobile software and handset markets are highly fragmented, mobile application demand is unclear. Nielsen studies show that the average iPhone user downloads and keeps around 37, while Android owners use only 22.
Accurate data on iPad and other tablet computer app demand and retention isn’t yet available, but it’s likely that tablets will create increased demand for application software. Likewise, as mobile apps become more targeted for vertical markets, such as wireless healthcare, demand is increasing.