Only Popular Apple Apps Appeal Say Researchers

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iPhone users love downloading applications; however new research shows that only 5-10 apps are used on a regular basis and, with more than 140 applications to choose from, users are gravitating to the ones that deliver “real benefits”.According to Flurry Research, the launch last week of the Apple iPad, a tablet device that runs iPhone applications, has already resulted in the development of several new applications, including a version of a drawing app called Brushes; Nova, a shooter game; and Apple’s own app called iBooks, which will allow users to connect to its new online e-bookstore.

The research company claims that people today prefer fewer choices, and that they gravitate consistently toward the same small number of things that they like. Owners of iPhones are no different from Foxtel customers who have access to hundreds of channels to choose from but end up watching the same six channels every week.

According to The New York Times, a survey of iPhones, iPod Touch and Android users conducted in July 2009 by AdMob, an advertising network that helps people promote their applications on smartphones, found that people discover apps most often by browsing app stores. And even though the iTunes store is bloated with offerings, people tend to gravitate to the most popular.

“For all the tens of thousands of apps out there, the odds of being exposed to more than a thousand are very small,” said Stewart Putney, the founder and chief executive of Moblyng, that develops applications for mobile devices.

“The top apps featured at the store do change out,” Mr. Putney said. “But most users will never see more than 1 per cent of the total apps available.”

A study last year by Pinch Media found that most people stop using their applications pretty quickly, particularly if those apps are free. And three out of every four applications people download are free, even though analysts say that Apple and its developers receive $1 billion a year in revenue from selling applications (Apple itself won’t say).

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