Despite the ad campaigns from Apple that note all the apps available for the iPhone, as well as the ads for various Google Android-powered handsets and its apps, the truth is that most smartphone users haven’t actually wised up to what apps offer.
According to a survey that by Asknet, nearly half of respondents (45 percent) actually said they never bought an app or software for their smartphone. And 34 percent said that they opted not to do so because it wasn’t worth the time or effort. That’s not entirely surprising because until recently app set-up on mobile devices was something you’d rather have the experienced IT department do if you could! Things have gotten easier, of course, which is why it is so surprising that more users have not opted for the apps.
But the economy could be seen as a part of the factor. Of those users who did buy an app, a great majority (87 percent) said they spent less than $50 on apps in a year, and only a very small minority of 4 percent actually admitted to spending in excess of $100 on apps. Even today cost remains an issue, with more than one third (38 percent) of users saying that the costs were high, while 29 percent didn’t like the idea of using a credit card to purchase the apps. The latter is surprising given that most people feel comfortable using a credit card online.
And least you think that those were heavy business users, we should consider that the entertainment apps lead the pack. Among those who bought apps, Asknet noted:
- 61 percent bought music-related apps
- 41 percent bought games
- 35 percent bought ringtones
- 33 percent bought news
- 29 percent bought GPS or other location-based apps
- 27 percent bought business apps
These numbers are interesting. While smartphones clearly have a business use, it is surprising to see that games are at the top. But if you can already easily check e-mail, look at the Web, send instant messages and make calls – the only thing missing for a business traveler might be the ability to listen to some music or kill some time with a game. Asknet further noted that users that were asked what they would like to purchase in the future, business jumped to 51 percent while games dropped to 37 percent. GPS came in at 48 percent and music still nudged up to 63 percent. Clearly people think music on the go is the way to go.
Banned Use of Handsets Has Not Reduced Accidents
A new study released by the Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that the efforts by law makers to ban the use of handsets and other handheld devices whilst driving has not actually reduced driving-related accidents in three states or the District of Columbia. The three states were New York, Connecticut and California, and the crash rates were the same as Virginia and Maryland, two states that don’t have laws limiting use of handsets while driving.
As a resident of New York, and a frequent traveler to California, I personally think the findings may be misleading, however. I think the simple fact is that many drivers are essentially ignoring the ban. While drivers may risk fines, in New York City it is hard to have a day go by when you don’t see someone talking on their phone while driving. It is sort of akin to speeding, people do it all the time and will continue to do so because most of the time it is easy enough to get away with, and for the most part no one thinks it is really that bad. Ask the average driver and what upsets them most about getting a ticket is that they did get a ticket – suggesting that the crime is getting caught, not the actual crime!