Financial News

  • 19 August 2014, 9:03

Downloads Drop As Appetite For New Apps Wanes

Fears have been raised that downloading of smartphone apps has reached saturation point - because they are getting too good.

Researchers said almost a third of users do not download apps in a typical month.

The results raise concern for developers of mobile apps that the waning appetite for software will harm future programme creation.

"The UK is a bellwether for the mobile industry and and it is a mature market that is home to many top developers," Deloitte head of tech, media and telecoms Paul Lee told Sky News.

"Early adopters have bought their apps and most new smartphone users are older and not included to rush out and buy lots of apps."

According to the research, only around 10% of smartphone users buy apps or other content regularly.

Mr Lee said some 31% of global smartphone users do not download apps, a rise from around 20% at the same point last year.

And the average number of apps downloaded has fallen from 2.3 to 1.8 in the same period.

"People like to say they enjoy change but they don't, they prefer the path of least resistance," Mr Lee said.

"It's a Darwinian process. Ironically, existing apps are getting better with tweaks and so people feel less inclined to look for new apps."

Mr Lee's full report is due to be published on September 4 and the results raise potential problems for mobile media companies and games firms.

The maker of the popular mobile game Candy Crush has already learned about an apparent waning of consumer interest, seeing revenue drop by 8% in just three months.

Last week King Digital Media, which makes most of its money from just three games, saw its share price sink more than 25%, wiping almost 1bn from its value.

The sell-off occurred after it issued a profit warning alongside its second quarter results.

The London-based, New York-listed company went public on the stock market in March with shares priced at $22.50 (13.45), and they are now trading at the lowest point since flotation - at around $13.50 (8.05).

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