Apps reaching more consumers via smartphone devices than tablet

mobile_mass_media_peopleSmartphone applications ranging from news, health, shopping and music are being downloaded at up to three times the rate of their tablet counterparts, according to exclusive data from The Festival of Media Global’s insight partner, Kantar Media.

The results are from Kantar Media’s latest proprietary TGI Clickstream study, with data collated from October 2011 to September 2012. Kantar Media will be running a showcase theatre session at the Festival of Media Global, taking place today and tomorrow in Montreux, Switzerland.

Social networking was the most popular type of smartphone app, with 37% of smartphone web users surveyed saying they had downloaded a social networking app in the past 12 months. While this was the second most popular kind of tablet app, just half that amount (18%) of tablet web users surveyed had downloaded a social networking app in the past 12 months.

The biggest gap was evident across health and diet apps, which were downloaded by 11% of smartphone web users but just 3% of tablet web users – a difference of more than triple. The smallest gap was for property apps – downloaded by 4% of smartphone web users and 3% of tablet web users.

Music, the fourth most popular type of app across users of both devices, was downloaded by more than double the amount of smartphone web users compared with tablet web users (25% vs 11%). Similar results were revealed for mapping apps, which are the fifth most popular across both user types, but are downloaded by 22% of smartphone web users compared with 11% of tablet users.

Festival of Media chief executive Charlie Crowe said the results were significant for all industry players – brands, media owners and media agencies – in terms of considering the role and importance of tablets versus smartphones in their engagement strategies.

“Tablets might be one of the fastest growing technologies today, and though exponential growth of these devices has been forecasted, it’s important to note that current app consumption rates still sit quite strongly within mobile devices.

“It would of course be foolish to ignore the role tablets have to play in shaping the future of the app market, but brands and media owners shouldn’t forget to maintain their investment in mobile if they want to engage with a critical mass of consumers around the world.”

Kantar Media’s head of TGI International, Geoff Wicken, added: “There’s no denying that more and more people are purchasing tablets for both business and personal use, but the fact remains that there are a billion smartphones on the planet, and tablet sales are still in their millions.

“While tablets will continue to become both more accessible and more sophisticated, the smartphone is still considered the all-round communications device that stays with a user for nearly 24 hours a day.”

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