Last month we stated that the app economy was a zero sum game when it comes to tech jobs. It is a fast moving platform shift that, as a collateral, by and large is replacing PC software jobs by app jobs. This doesn’t mean however that the app economy should not be taken seriously. On the contrary, it is by all means the very manifestation of the Information Society (remember that term). It reflects the transformation of the world that uses software into the world that deals with content. In this context the app economy has only just begun to show its potential and impact on society and economy. Question is, how important is this app trend and should businesses care?
Let’s do some numbers and estimates:
METISfiles research on Personal Information Devices, such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, e-readers etc, shows there are some 10 million Dutch smartphone owners and over 4 million tablet users in 2013. Let’s assume that 90% of the tablet users also use a smartphone. This means we are looking at close to 11 million app users in the Netherlands.
According to Business Insider, by the end of 2013 one in every five people in the world had a smartphone. Wikipedia puts the world population at 7.2 billion in 2013 which means there are about 1.4 billion smartphones around. 10 million of those can be found in the Netherlands which translates in a 0.7% share of the worldwide smartphone base. This means, if we use our fair share method, we are responsible for 700 million app downloads out of a worldwide total of 100 billion app downloads in 2013. The actual number may be closer to a billion since the Netherlands scores high in app usage. It also means that on average we downloaded 50 apps per device. This is in line with other research showing a global average of 26 apps on smartphones.
There is more. Research also shows that people tend to spend more and more time on their mobile devices. Flurry, an analytics company, claims that on average US smartphone users spent 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on their smartphone and tablets which totals to 18 hours a week. Time spent online is increasing to 5 hours per day, totaling to 35 hours per week. In the Netherlands we may not be that far off compared to the US. As tablet users and also smartphone users increasingly start to use their device for watching video and tv, more and more time will be spent online and through apps.
Another research claim: the average user checks his smartphone 150 times a day, or once every 6 minutes. Locket, an Android app that pays users in exchange for placing ads on their lock screens compiled data showing that on a given day, the average user checks his or her phone 110 times per day. Cisco therefore regards the smartphone as the 207th bone of the human body.
The app phenomenon is catching up way faster than websites did in the previous decennium. Tablet adoption is going even faster than smartphone adoption. Instead of taking 6 years to become the dominant communication device, the tablet only took 3 years before it outpaced the PC. In the future more and more time will be spent on using apps on smart mobile devices. This is even more important if we realize that our current day for the foreseeable future will remain 24 hours. According to a recent CPB study (Met het oog op de tijd) 41 hours of our 168 hour week are spent on duty bound activities (time spent on work, school, household, childcare), 78 hours on personal time (time spent on sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, dressing etc) and 48 on free time. 21 hours of free time are spent on media usage. On top of that we spend more time online in between and during duty bound, personal and free time activities as well as time spent being on the move.
If business want to reach and catch their customers/prospects and partners, they have to catch them online and the app is where we can increasingly find them. App presence is the sequel to web presence. If you are really serious about online facetime with your customers/partners or audience, app presence is a must. Beware: in the nineties it took a decade before not being on the web became unacceptable but app presence will be a prerequisite within just two or three years.
Apps are no longer the new way to communicate but are quickly becoming the standard in online marketing communication. To survive and thrive businesses have to be aware that the appification of business processes is the way forward. No app no business. What app development plans do you have for your business? Mail us at The METISfiles.com