Study: Smartphone Users Aren’t Downloading Apps


According to a recent study conducted by ComScore, nearly two-thirds of US smartphone users aren’t downloading any new apps. Their research uncovered that only 7% of smartphone users accounted for almost half of the new apps being downloaded.

Fortunately for a few app developers, these results cannot be interpreted to mean that we aren’t using apps. Over half of users are turning to a single, favourite app, 42% of the time. In 75% of the remaining time, users were only using 3-4 additional apps regularly.

Whether the user prefers iOS or Android, the results are about the same. Users love social media, with Facebook identified as the most popular choice overall and used more often than any other app. Radio, news and weather related apps topped the charts for iOS users. Android users appear more focused on search and email (but the integration of Google Now may be skewing those results somewhat).

What the study can’t tell us clearly is why we aren’t using more apps, more often. It may be possible that as iOS and Android operating systems advance, more features are built-in and require fewer additional apps. It may also be that HTML 5 apps are starting to dominate the marketplace, requiring users to use a web browser instead of app stores. Yet another theory would suggest that users are overwhelmed by the options presented within app stores so avoid them instead. Whatever the reason, developers should pay careful attention: persuading users to download new apps may mean engaging in new styles of marketing.

Comscore boasts being one of the leading Internet technology companies aimed at measuring “what people do as they navigate the digital world.”

Jillian Koskie (436 Posts)

Jillian Koskie is an experienced software developer, content writer, project manager and usability design expert. With over 17 years in these roles, Jillian has enjoyed applying her skill-set to assist clients and users across a wide variety of sectors including: legal, health, and financial services. Combining these professional opportunities with a love of technology, Jillian is pleased to contribute articles, opinions, and advice to numerous news outlets, websites, and publications. If you have any questions about any of her articles, please send an email to

  • InklingBooks

    Judging by myself, I’m actually checking out as many apps as every, typically by waiting for them to come on sale, but I’m adopting fewer and fewer ones to actually use. The reason? There’s only so much I can use my iPhone and iPad for. I’ve got apps for almost everything I need to do. There’s no need to change.

    With one exception. I need a simple podcast player that’d just play the playlists I create in iTunes on my Mac on my iPhone and do so at 1.25X. That’s not a lot to ask, and yet the market is not headed that direction. Instead there are ever-more complex podcast players that download for themselves and arrange podcast in some mechanical fashion that has to be programmed. Deprived of what I want, I’m stuck with the iOS music app that doesn’t play slower than 1.5X.