Australia has one of the largest smartphone penetration rates in the world – more than 65% of us own one, and 77% of those don’t leave home without it. However, not everyone is taking advantage of what their device is capable of – specifically, apps.
A new report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that 68% of Australians who own an internet-connected smartphone downloaded an app in the six months to May 2013.
Those people who downloaded a mobile app in that period reported at least one benefit of using apps, with the most common benefit being ease of use for services like online banking and shopping.
On the other hand, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network identified a number of concerns regarding apps including access to personal information, hidden costs, and content safeguards. These concerns highlight the new issues being raised in the constantly changing world of digital citizenship.
However, a smartphone simply isn’t a smartphone without apps. Apps are the things that personalise and enrich the user experience, and with more than 100 billion apps downloaded in 2013 alone, it’s clear that smartphone users worldwide agree that the benefits far outweigh the possible disadvantages.
In Australia, the most popular app downloads were games (66%), followed by social networking (59%) and banking/finance (49%). Though games are the most popular, 87% of app users downloaded from at least two different categories.
The Australian app market is rapidly growing with Aussies providing the fourth largest app revenue in the world after the USA, Japan and the UK.
Unfortunately, only 3% of SMEs are taking advantage of Australians’ love of apps with their own business-related app, and only 18% of SMEs’ websites have been optimised for mobile. As a result, thousands of SMEs are missing out on a lot of potential business, as 78% of smartphone owners have used their device to research a product or service.
Here are some stats that might convince you to jump on the app bandwagon:
- There are 1 million apps available on the App Store, 1 million on Google Play, 250,000 on BlackBerry World and almost 200,000 on the Windows Phone Store
- 89% of 18-24 year olds have a smartphone and 83% of those downloaded an app in the six months to May 2013
- 72% of app users download apps once a month or less and 20% download apps every week
- During September 2013, the top free apps on the App Store were Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Snapchat, Deer Hunter 2014 and Where’s My Water? 2
- On the Google Play Store, the most downloaded apps were Facebook, Candy Crush Saga, Skype, Snapchat and Viber