Samsung Electronics, a mobile phone provider, has unveiled the results of an exclusive new survey by Vanson Bourne into consumers’ mobile software demands, providing unique insights into the opportunities available for the growing developer community across the world.
The survey results were extremely encouraging for developers currently creating apps for the mobile market, as this was identified as the greatest opportunity for new development. Almost half (42%) of current feature phone users surveyed would pay to download applications if they could – and 54% of those people would be prepared to pay up to £5 for each application they download, illustrating the scale of the potential revenues available for developers by extending application-downloadable smartphone markets.
The research comes ahead of the worldwide launch of Samsung’s new bada platform, which is set to open up millions of mainstream handsets worldwide to the new possibilities of applications. The consumer survey was based on responses from UK, France and Italy –three of Europe’s biggest mobile markets where Samsung currently offers apps through its Samsung Application Store.
The research also highlighted the types of applications which are particularly sought after by consumers with no previous experience of downloading them – and therefore the people who present the biggest potential revenue opportunity for developers at the moment. The study shows that among users of mainstream handsets who have not downloaded an application before, travel and navigation applications were most in demand with 34% of people surveyed eager to use them, followed by photography (12%), work (11%) and shopping (9%).
“Our findings show the vast potential of the applications market and the huge untapped revenues, driven by high levels of consumer demand,” said Dr Hosoo Lee, executive vice president and head of the media solution centre at Samsung Electronics.
Lee added: “Through the launch of bada, Samsung’s open mobile platform, we aim to help developers to capitalise on this exciting market opportunity. The aim of the bada platform is to make smartphone features accessible to everyone, so that developers can reach larger audiences and the variety and creativity of apps can be enjoyed by many. We want consumers to have a fun and diverse mobile experience that really adds value to their lives, by providing them with high-quality applications and mobile services.”
Further findings illustrate where the market opportunity lies for different types of applications among current smartphone users, and indicate the areas where developers could reap the benefits and discover new revenues.
Overall, women were found to be highly attracted to certain types of applications. Gaming applications are ranked more popular among women than men, with 70% of women surveyed saying they use them, as opposed to 57% of men. Women also value photography applications highly, with nearly half saying that they use them to help in their everyday lives (49%).
Nearly six out of ten women (57%) said that they use apps to enrich their family life, illustrating that demand for apps designed for parents has overtaken those for social networking (which received just 39% of responses).
Education is also an area with huge potential for growth within the application market. When asked what apps they would like to see developed, the highest number of respondents (18%) said they would like new education apps, as they feel that there isn’t a suitable solution available for them at the present time. The figures also show that there are more opportunities for developers in the work and travel related apps arena, which were rated second and third by consumers disappointed that the right app is not available yet (17% and 13% respectively).
In addition, the findings raised the issue of the longevity of apps among smartphone users. 43% of app users said that once they have downloaded an app they quickly lose interest and cease using it, leaving almost half of apps redundant within a relatively short space of time. “This shows that the market is still in its infancy,” said Lee. “There’s a clear gap in the market for ‘killer’ apps which can enrich people’s mobile phone lives, and we believe that bada will be the platform to supply these apps.”