Smartphone users are spending more time using native applications on their mobile devices to the detriment of other technology and media, but the mere availability of applications is not the primary driver of buying decisions, according to a report by Gravity Tank.
The Chicago-based consulting firm surveyed more than 1,000 iPhone and Android G1 users during April and May and found those users had downloaded an average of nearly 24 apps to their mobile devices, among which they use an average of almost 7 per day.
Nearly half (48 percent) of phone owners report shopping for apps more than once a week, while slightly more (49 percent) report using apps on their phone for more than 30 minutes a day.
Other technologies and media, such as gaming devices, GPS devices, newspapers and TV, all suffer in the light of app-enabled smartphones, as people reported the ability to consolidate multiple devices into one as one of the top two reasons they decided to buy a smartphone in the first place.
Leading the pack of reasons people buy a smartphone is the ability to check email and calendars (74 percent cited this). The availability of new games and applications figured into the buying decision for 67 percent of the survey respondents.
The survey results cast an interesting take on all the pre-launch hoopla and positive reviews garnered for the Palm Pre, which will be available to the public starting tomorrow.
Palm’s highly regarded smartphone entry is coming to market with a decided dearth of 3rd party apps available for it and Palm executives have been somewhat cagey regarding the timeline for development of apps for the Pre.
With Apple gearing up its own hype machine for plenty of noise beginning Monday at WWDC it may be some time before Palm is likely to catch up to iPhone’s lead in both the smartphone device and applications markets.