Tablet Owners Put Their Apps to Work

November 9, 2011

pew-research-frequency-of-app-use-on-mobile-devices-nov11.gifWhile the majority (59%) of tablet owners who have downloaded applications to their device report using 5 or fewer on a regular basis, a greater proportion of this group use more than 20 apps at least once a week (9%) than do not use any at all (8%), according to [download page] a November 2011 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data from the report indicates that although the same proportion (69%) of cell phone app users and and tablet app users use 10 or fewer on a regular basis, tablet app users (21%) are 62% more likely to use more than 10 apps than cell phone app users (13%).

Tablet Owners More App-Friendly

75% of tablet owners report downloading apps to their devices, almost double the proportion of cell phone users (38%) who have done so. The vast majority of tablet app downloaders (82%) have also downloaded apps to their cell phone. Meanwhile, tablet penetration has grown strikingly, more than tripling from 3% of US adults in May 2010 to 10% in August 2011. The report notes that the survey was conducted before the Kindle Fire was on the market, and so is limited to owners of devices such as an iPad, Samsung Galazy or Motorola Xoom.

Tablet and Mobile Demos Differ

Although the majority of tablet downloaders are also cell phone app downloaders, their demographic breakdowns differ pointedly in some areas. For example, the tablet app downloading population skews slightly more female (54%) than male (46%), whereas the opposite is true for cell phone app downloaders (52% male vs. 48% female). Additionally, a larger proportion of tablet app downloaders than cell phone app downloaders are over 30 (68% vs. 59%), college graduates (56% vs. 38%), and earning more than $75,000 annually (44% vs. 33%).

2 in 3 Pay for Tablet Apps

68% of tablet app downloaders have paid for an app, 48% more than the proportion of cell phone app downloaders (46%) who have done so. Tablet app downloaders are also likelier to spend more on their apps: 1 in 2 say they have spent more than $5 on an app, compared to 37% of cell phone app downloaders. Among all app downloaders (cell phone and tablet), 52% report that they highest amount they have paid for an app is $5 or less, although 17% have paid more than $20.

GfK: Increased Tablet App Downloads Results in Lower Use

The more tablet apps consumers download, the less likely they are to use them regularly, according to GfK MRI iPanel data released in September 2011. Among the iPanel respondents who own a tablet and have downloaded between one and nine apps on their device, 95% say they regularly use those apps. In contrast, only 37% of owners who have 10 or more apps on their device regularly use this many apps, while only 16% who have 20 or more apps on their device regularly use this many.

About the Data: The Pew study findings are based on a survey conducted from July 25 – August 26 among 2,260 adults ages 18 and over, including surveys in English and Spanish and on both landline and cell phones.

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