Are smartphone users losing their appetite for new apps?

We're downloading fewer apps than we used to, and most of us have never paid for an app, ever.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Just under a third of us — 31 percent — have not downloaded a new app for our mobile phone in the past month and if we have almost certainly did not pay for it. The same research says that almost all of us — 90 percent — have never paid for a mobile app.

The research, conducted by the management consultantcy firm Deloitte, makes grim reading for app developers. The research suggests that even those customers who still want to explore Apple's App Store or Google Play are losing interest: the number of downloads a month per active user has fallen by a quarter, from an average of 2.32 in 2013 to just 1.82 in 2014.

Deloitte believes there are two reasons why this is happening. The first is the increasing proportion of older users, and the second is a belief that the apps that people are using now are good enough already and don't need upgrading or improving. That news is, of course, anathema to companies who have built their business model on the ritual of continuous, expensive upgrading.

Lee believes that one of the biggest factors is the changing mobile population which splits into two — the older and younger populations. When you look at who uses instant messaging services such as WhatsApp and WeChat, it tends to be younger age groups, and declines rapidly with age.

Deloitte's full 2014 Mobile Consumer Survey is due out on 4 September.

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