Study Finds that More Australians are Using Mobile Apps, Creating Healthy “App Economy”

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SmarterApps, an Australian mobile applications development company, dissects a recent report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and explains how the report signals more apps industry growth on the horizon.

Smarter Apps

Smarter Apps

This study confirms what I have seen with my own eyes for the past year—people are buying more and more apps for more and more purposes. The user simply has to push a button, and can access things nobody dreamed of accessing on a mobile phone.

In a recent report entitled “The Emerging Mobile Telecommunications Service Market in Australia”, the ACMA confirmed what industry insiders have known for at least a year: Australians are buying and using apps at an ever-growing rate, with no end in sight. The report cites two main reasons: popularity of mobile phones and functionality of smartphones.

According to the report, by April of 2011, approximately 89% of households that had fixed-line telephones also had mobile phones. Approximately 58% of adults who owned mobile phones owned a 3G mobile handset, while 37% of adults with mobile phones had smartphones.

The report credits the inclusion of Internet services on mobile phones for much of the increase. The internet gives users access to video, voice, and data services that are far beyond the original scope of standard voice and text services. Mobile apps have served to make the process more convenient for users, and this convenience has led to increased popularity.

In the six months preceding April of 2011, 42% of 3G users had downloaded at least one app, while 72% of smartphone users had downloaded at least one app. The report cites entertainment, social networking, and mobile banking as the most popular app categories.

During June of 2011, 1.55 million Australians who were at least 14 years old used their mobile phones for social networking. Another 751,000 used their phones to access their bank accounts or make bill payments. In addition, 555,000 accessed online streams of videos or movies, while another 304,000 did the same with audio content. Other statistics in the report included 274,000 using a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, while 100,000 purchased goods or services over their mobile phones.

According to the report, there are four main categories of mobile apps: mobile or m-commerce, mobile handset VoIP, mobile social networking, and mobile video. The report analysed each category in terms of four metrics.

The first metric is Substitution in which mobile apps actually provide the same services normally purchased from mobile service providers (MSP’s). The next metric is Expansion, in which mobile apps allow users to access services that were only available on the Internet. Another metric is Disruption, in which apps can disrupt industry processes such as m-commerce, causing fundamental changes in the structure of the mobile platform. The last metric is Multiple screens, because access to videos constitutes a “third screen” along with computers and televisions.

Craig Aitken, Owner and Director of SmarterApps, offered his insight on what these statistics mean to his clients, and what he sees for the future of mobile app development:

“This study confirms what I have seen with my own eyes for the past year—people are buying more and more apps for more and more purposes. Apps combine the power of a computer with the convenience of a mobile phone. The user simply has to push a button, and can access things nobody dreamed of accessing on a mobile phone even three years ago.”

Aitken would add: “The apps industry is mirroring the early growth of the Internet. Twenty years ago, almost nobody had even heard of the Internet. Now, almost everybody uses it, and most depend on it for myriad uses that they now take for granted. Apps are now in the same stage as the Internet was fifteen years ago. Within ten years, there will be an app for everything under the sun. App developers who get in now are building foundations that will provide benefits for years to come.”

SmarterApps offers mobile app development in Australia, specialising in iPhone and iPad app development and Android app development. They are experts at turning your ideas into apps. Their services also include app hosting server side, database design and integration. Please visit their website for a consultation http://www.smarterapps.com.au/services or you may also call them at 1300 650 253.

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