It’s tough out there for app developers. Not only are the various app stores crammed with hundreds of thousands of titles, with new ones pouring in each week, fresh figures released by ComScore show that nearly two-thirds of smartphone owners in the U.S. download zero apps during a typical month.
Based on the three-month averages calculated by ComScore, 65.5 percent of users didn’t download any apps at all. 8.4 percent of those polled downloaded one app while 8.9 percent downloaded two. Only 2.4 percent of the participants in the survey installed eight apps or more. Overall, just 7 percent of smartphone owners account for nearly half of the download activity.
It’s not that smartphone owners don’t like apps, but the big names like Facebook and YouTube hoover up a lot of user time and attention. New apps find it difficult to grab the spotlight and persuade users to add a new icon or two to their home screens — almost all smartphone owners use apps, the ComScore report says, but 42 percent of all app time is spent in the individual’s most-used app.
Discovering new apps can be a problem for the average user too: Very few new app releases make mainstream news, while the app stores run by Apple, Google and Amazon can be uninspiring to navigate around. It seems as though most of us are sticking with the names and services we know well rather than experimenting with new software on our mobiles.