Apps: Fun or functional?

Latest research shows how preferences for apps differ for smartphone and tablet owners.

London, 3 May 2012 New research by leading online research provider, Lightspeed Research (part of Kantar and WPP) shows social apps such as Facebook are used most frequently by smartphone owners with almost three quarters (73%) accessing social networks through apps daily and a further 19% at least weekly. By contrast, tablet owners are more likely to use functional apps such as business apps (63%) or finance / banking apps (56%) daily rather than social networking apps (32%), indicating that usage patterns of smartphones and tablet users are different.

Fun or functional?
The top three most used kinds of apps on a smartphone are social networking, news and weather. By comparison, for tablet owners the top three are games, business, and finance & banking.

Paid-for apps in demand, particularly by iPhone owners
Smartphone users are still willing to pay a premium for apps with 48% of all smartphone respondents reporting a mixture of both paid-for and free apps. However when this is split by device, iPhone users are significantly more likely to have a mixture of paid-for and free apps than Android users (71% v 35%).

Amongst those who have at least some paid-for apps on their phone, two thirds (66%) have paid for up to 30% of their apps, but only one in five (23%)has paid for 50% or more of their apps.

The most popular app price point is £3 or less
More than two thirds (69%) of smartphone or tablet owners who use paid-for apps have paid not more than £3 for an app. However the research reveals that one in ten smartphone or tablet users has paid more than £5 for an app, indicating that there is some level of demand for premium priced apps. Tablet owners spend more on apps than smartphone owners: 19% had spent more than £30 on them in the past six months. Just over one in four (42%) tablet owners had spent less than £10 in total buying apps over the past six months.

Multiscreen use increasingly popular
Nearly a third (31%) of smartphone or tablet users agree that they’re less likely to be paying 100% of their attention to the TV when its on – they’ll normally be using their smartphone or tablet at the same time, indicating that advertising on the variety of screens available to consumers is increasingly important for brands.

Ralph Risk, Marketing Director Europe says “It is clear that smartphone and tablet users are multi-taskers, with many using their devices to browse the web and update social networks whilst taking part in other activities, like watching TV. But with the different content usage and take-up rates on smartphones compared to tablets, brands and marketers need to ensure that they are providing apps that meet the different needs of consumers when using those two devices, be that business, gaming or social. ”


For press enquiries please contact:
Ralph Risk, Marketing Director Europe – Lightspeed Research Tel +44 (0)20 7896 1950 / +44 (0)7876 507689
Lucy Green, Greenfields Communications T: 07817 698366

About Lightspeed Research
Lightspeed Research is part of Kantar, the information insight and consultancy division of WPP.Lightspeed Research delivers valuable data to help clients make informed business decisions. With proprietary online panels throughout the world, our verified, engaged, and deeply profiled survey respondents can support research studies that vary in scope and complexity. Lightspeed Research’s expert Client Operations Team offers data collection services including survey design, sample management, programming and reporting. The company has offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

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