US smartphone users are the biggest downloaders of apps although the type of apps being regularly used by consumers varies considerably around world.
Ninety percent of US smartphone users have downloaded an app in the past three months, according to research by Forrester. The UK was in second place, with 66 percent of users saying they’d downloaded an app during the same period. The Netherlands was up next with 63 percent, followed by France (62 percent), Spain (61 percent), Germany and Sweden (both 58 percent) and Italy (54 percent).
Of the categories of apps used, weather, games social networking, navigation/mapping, music and news dominated globally. However, mobile users in different countries favoured different types of apps within these categories.
Weather apps were the most-used category in the US (51 percent), followed by games (50 percent), social networking (47 percent) and navigation/mapping (39 percent).
In contrast, the seven largest European countries favoured games (46 percent) over social networking apps (43 percent), weather and music (both 33 percent) and news (31 percent).
Gaming apps and music dominate in Asia, with almost three-quarters of Indian consumers with access to mobile internet services having used a music app in the past three months. Forrester said this reflects the way in which mobile phones are used as entertainment devices due to the lower penetration of other devices such as iPods.
The biggest use of social networking technology is seen in metropolitan China, with 34 percent of users accessing social sites on a mobile device at least once per month. Japan followed with 28 percent, while the US saw 25 percent of mobile users using social networks, and the EU-7 countries just 11 percent.