Q About Google Smartphone Use Data: Ave. Apps Installed = 28, 22 or 14?

Google shared their findings about smartphone users at the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) Forum last week.

Global mobile research on the smartphone user and the mobile marketer from the MMA and Google

The entire presentation is available in a PDF at:

Global Perspectives: The Smartphone User & The Mobile Marketer

Thousands of adult (18 years or older) smartphone users in 30 countries were interviewed in the first half of this year to collect the data. However, the data presented focuses on the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany and Japan. 13,000 people were interviewd in these five countries. Aside from this information, we do not know a lot about these smartphone users. For example, which smartphone platforms were included? What was the stratification of each platform within the survey results? How long had people been using smarpthones? Were most of them new users?

One slide in particular should make you wonder about the validity of the data presented in the other slides. Take a look at slide 11 from the presentation reproduced here. It is titled “App Usage is Prevalent.” I’m not questioning their conclusion, but the data reported looks a bit odd. For example, if we take the average of all five countries in the table, the average number of apps installed on smartphones worldwide is 27.8. The average number of paid apps is 7.2.

Howver, back in January 2011, Asymco reported that:

More than 60 apps have been downloaded for every iOS device sold

We can assume that most people do not keep all the apps they download permanently installed. But, lets assume that of the 60 apps downloaded for every iOS device, 40 (66%) is left on the device. Let’s also assume that iOS devices account for about 30% of smartphone devices used by the people surveyed. If iOS device users have an average of 40 apps installed, this means that users of other smarpthone platforms only have an average of 22.6 apps installed.

(40 * 0.3) + (22.57 * 0.7) =~ 27.8

If we take the less conservative (and probably incorrect assumption) that iPhone useres leave all downloaded apps installed, the average number of apps installed on other platforms becomes even smaller (14).

(60 * 0.3) + (14 * 0.7) -~27.8