By Jonathan Charles | Sep 18, 2012 11:09 AM EDT
A new survey revealed that just 50 percent of smartphone users buy apps, according to a survey from App Developer's Alliance. Android users in particular were described as "cheap" for downloading apps for free, though the behavior seems more widespread than the Android platform.
The survey included 1,000 "online consumers." It revealed that three out of four consumers own an "app-capable device" and have downloaded at least one app. The remaining third plan to download apps in the coming six months. Around a quarter of respondents had paid for apps.
According to the survey, 90 percent of apps cost less than $3, confirming the case for mobile platforms (and gaming particularly) to be inexpensive yet high in quality. That data comes from research firm Gartner and contrasts with retail console and PC games than can cost $50 or $60 at launch; New Super Mario Bros. U for Wii U launches at the latter price.
"Cost and lack of understanding of apps are the largest barriers to adoption," according to the survey. Perhaps unsurprisingly, entertainment and productivity apps are the most popular. Entertainment also includes gaming.
Of the respondents, 81 percent own smartphones and 62 percent use "smart mobile devices." However, the survey revealed that tablets are "moving into mass circulation" with 45 percent of users owning a tablet. Finally, a third -- 32 percent -- of users own a "niche" e-reader. On smartphones 79 percent of users download and use apps, compared to 69 percent on tablets, with 47 percent on e-readers. On tablets, 87 percent of users "learn about and download" apps monthly, compared to 81 percent of users on smartphones.
The rise in tablets is due to large developer support and the devices' blending of functionality between smartphones and PCs. With iPad, Apple managed to maintain the simple design of iOS, yet encourage developers to build unique apps for the 10-inch screen. Smaller, seven-inch devices resemble magazines in form factor and weight.
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