Pew Report: Most Smartphone Users Aren't Using Apps


The availability of apps is one of the biggest differences between a smartphone and a regular mobile phone, but about one third of smartphone owners aren't using the mobile applications on their devices, according to a Pew Research Center report released this week.

A mere 29% of adult smartphone owners say they've used an app, compared with 76% who say they've taken pictures with the built-in cameras and 72% who say they've sent or received text messages, according to the report. That's surprising considering that one in 10 users say they'd downloaded an application during the week before the poll was taken. Almost half of adult cell-phone users have software apps, most of which came with their phones, according to the Pew report.

"That's like saying one-third of people who own a Ferrari don't exceed the speed limit," said Frank Dixon, vice president of research at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based In-Stat. "It seems a little low."

Meanwhile, only 38% of users have accessed the Internet from their phones, 34% have played a game, recorded a video or sent or received email on their phones, 33% have played music and 30% have sent or received instant messages on their phones, Pew says.

Other statistics, though, indicate that users are on the verge of starting to use more apps. On average, smartphone owners have 27 apps on their phones, up from an average of 22 apps last December, and the typical Apple (AAPL) iPhone owner has 41 apps, according to the findings of a Nielsen poll of more than 4,000 mobile subscribers released last week.