Pew: A quarter of U.S. adults are active mobile apps users

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Among the 82 percent of U.S. adults with mobile phones, 43 percent carry devices boasting mobile applications--translating to 35 percent of the U.S. adult population as a whole--according to a new consumer survey issued by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Twenty nine percent of U.S. adults have downloaded an app to their phone, while 38 percent purchased a device preloaded with mobile software; however, Pew reports that only about 68 percent of adults with apps on their phones actually use that software, meaning 24 percent of U.S. adults are active apps users. Pew adds that apps users are younger, more educated and more affluent than other wireless subscribers, also skewing slightly Hispanic--at the opposite end of the spectrum, the survey indicates 11 percent of U.S. adults aren't even sure whether their phone includes apps.

Among U.S. adults who download applications, the mean number of apps is 18, and the median number is 10--according to Pew, that means there are heavy apps users on the high end of the response scale with a disproportionate number of apps on their devices. Consumers who download applications tend to do so on a regular basis; 53 percent tell Pew their most recent download occurred within the last 30 days, 33 percent of whom indicate they downloaded an app within the previous seven days. Among U.S. subscribers under age 30, 20 percent downloaded an app in the past week. Within the 29 percent of U.S. adults who've downloaded apps, 47 percent have paid for mobile software.

Mobile application usage still ranks near the bottom of subscriber behaviors compared to other non-voice activities, however. Seventy six percent of U.S. adult subscribers snap photos with their phones, and 72 percent send or receive text messages--from there, non-voice activities fall off precipitously, with 38 percent accessing the mobile web, 34 percent playing mobile games and another 34 percent sending or receiving email.

For more on mobile app behaviors in the U.S.:
- read this Pew Internet & American Life Project report

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