The 11 Most Misunderstood Facts About Mobile Apps

By Istvan Fekete on April 4, 2014

#1: Functionality is just as important to US smartwatch users (81%) as comfort (79%)

Explanation: We can think about a handful of wearable computing devices already on the market, we must not forget we are living the early days of wearables and the adoption rate is still quite low. So before focusing on what the early adopters say (important enough, though), it is highly important to consider what the majority of future buyers want – fashion.

#2: 72% of US consumers wish wearable technology were less expensive

Explanation: There is much hype around wearable technology; it is apparently the No. 1 preference of 72% of US consumers, except for its price tag (Google Glass: $1,500, Pebble Smartwatch $249, etc.). Does this mean 72% would buy a wearable device if it were affordable? Not really, because the hype around it does not necessarily mean users are adaptable.

#3: 56% of US consumers have used their mobile devices to research products while at home.

Explanation: It’s clear that consumers are focused on convenience and are searching for products at home. While the majority currently seem to use search engines, when it comes to purchasing, shoppers are more interested in using apps instead of the Web browsers. Also, apps encourage shoppers to “love” brands.

#4: Almost nine out of ten (87%) of Canadians indicated they wished they did not have to carry a wallet.

Explanation: The demand for a wallet-free life is apparently high, (83% in Australia, Canada, Germany, the US, and the UK), but that obviously doesn’t equal adaptability. And there are a couple of roadblocks as well, such as smartphone adoption, which currently stands slightly above 50%, and the deployment of mobile payment terminals.

#5: Emerging regions will account for more than 60% of worldwide shipments of tablet PCs in 2014.

Explanation: When it comes to reporting shipments vs. sales, there is fierce debate, but we can all agree that shipments don’t necessarily equal sales.

#6: Users of mobile video calling services will increase to more than 130 million by 2018.

Explanation: This fact may mislead most of us into thinking there is more potential in this market than there really is, but this is only half of the full picture. The second half is revenue: the question mark over the revenue potential for mobile video is there. We have only to consider Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype: the $8.5 billion is far from being paid off.

#7: 29% of US consumers who own wearable technology make over $100,000 per year.

Explanation: Fact is, wearable technology is not affordable, and that’s why its adoption rate currently stands at hardly 15%. Considering that 29% of those are the “early adopters”, what drives most of the revenue to both wearable manufacturers and app developers are the other 70%.

#8: iOS and Android both secured a 48% share of smartphones sold in 2013.

Explanation: As a developer, adoption is key when targeting a mobile OS. The numbers, however, can be misleading if we consider the adoption rate only. Spending, user engagement, and investment (in devices, for example) should also be factored in.

#9: Over a million people worldwide sign up to WhatsApp each day.

Explanation: WhatsApp is one of the biggest mobile messaging clients available today, and the $19 billion deal with Facebook could help it grow even bigger. Don’t be too surprised by the sign-up rate, as the only number that truly counts is the MAU (monthly active users). We should also add that a huge chunk of users have decided to switch to another, more secure app, helped by the deal with the social media giant and service outages.

#10: Samsung accounted for 30% of global smartphone shipments in 2013, with 300 million.

Explanation: Shipping one third of the world’s smartphones is a tremendous performance, which we cannot argue with. What we’d like to point out, however, is the performance of high-end devices. Samsung is vague enough not to break down its numbers, so we have to use the available data: Apple sold 153 million iPhones in 2013, about half of what Samsung did. During the holiday quarter, Apple sold 51 million iPhones, while Samsung shipped 9 million Samsung Galaxy S4 units.

#11: 43% of US smartphone users think in-app mobile ads disrupt the user experience.

Explanation: Since smartphone users spend a tremendous amount of time on their devices, a big chunk of them reject the idea of in-app ads. This, however, doesn’t mean developers should skip the freemium business model: only one-fourth of all US users are willing to pay for an app to eliminate ads.