Report: Consumers won't pay for useless apps

Strategy Analytics confirms conventional wisdom that developers should already know about user expectations.

Consumers may be downloading apps in mass quantities, but that doesn't mean they aren't concerned about quality, according to a recent report from Strategy Analytics.

The company's latest Wireless Media Lab research study showed stability, ease of use and overall usefulness were among the key ingredients for demonstrating value to consumers of mobile apps. More than 80 percent of respondents said they also want highly useful apps to come free of charge. Less than 10 percent pay for mobile apps, said Taryn Tulay, an analyst with Strategy Analytics.

"Consumers do not want applications that are slow, cause glitches within their mobile device, or apps that run too many advertisements and send spam," the report said. While these might seem like pretty common sense findings, Strategy Analytics' research also provided some insight into the behavior of users on mobile app stores. The good news is that users are coming to stores several times a week, primarily to check for updates to what they already have. This should validate efforts by mobile developers to continued providing incremental improvements to their products over time.

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This doesn't mean that people will never pay for an app, however. In fact, Strategy Analytics found that if the features and functionality was considered unique--and helpful enough to be used on a daily basis--users would begin to see it as having monetary value.

As might be expected, users will also visit app stores to check out featured and top apps or to see if there are any new applications that have been released since their last visit, the research report said. This should reinforce the importance for app stores to put a high priority on discoverability, the authors write. This was rated as the most important attribute of a store, along with a plethora of free apps.

The challenge for some developers may be that while offering an app for free they want to use ads or push notifications to generate revenue. However, the survey suggested the main reasons customers sometimes uninstall apps include too much spam and too many ads. Other reasons included apps that didn't work as advertised or failed to function properly.

For more:
- see this Strategy Analytics report

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