Mobile App Dependency High; Varies by Country – Apigee Study

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Apigee released results of the 2013 Mobile App Behavior survey of smartphone owners across France, Germany, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S,, finding that 82% of those surveyed can’t go a day without critical apps; 85% admit they would rather give up drinking water than delete all of their mobile apps; nd 18% of French users saying they couldn’t order dinner without an app.

Apigee’s 2013 Mobile App Behavior survey, conducted online in February by uSamp, queried over 760 smartphone owners across France, Germany, Spain, the U.K. and U.S. The survey, which was aimed at revealing mobile app dependency, behavior and future desires across a variety of countries, found that fully 82% of those surveyed believe there are critical apps they cant go without for even a day, including email (57%), Facebook (41%) and alarm clock apps (31%). Spain ranked as the most app-reliant country with 93% saying they can’t go one complete day; with half (50%) of U.S. residents saying they couldnt last just four hours without apps. And the number of apps people say they use each day is significant: 72% say they use as many as 10 apps per day, and 2% in the global survey even claim they use more than 50 apps per day.

But the study also probed deeper at reactions people have when actually confronted with losing the apps they’ve come to rely on, and many people around the world report basic things they would be unable to do without apps, including:

Check email 48%
Wake up in the morning 32%
Feel happy 23%
Navigate to work 20%
Maintain my relationship 19%
Find dates 13%
Order dinner 12%
Impress people 10%

However, the feeling of app dependency varies globally. Fully 18% of the French say they could not order dinner without an app, while people in America (16%) and the UK (8%) feel more app independent in that area. In Spain 23% say they couldn’t find a date without apps, but only 5% of Americans believe they would lose this ability. On giving up apps forever, 85% admit they would actually rather give up drinking water than delete all of their apps, while a further 9% say it would be easier for them to invent a new source of energy than delete all of the apps on their smartphones.

A look at global behavior around the usage of apps revealed variations on opinions of children with smartphones, drivers and mobile platform loyalty.

When asked the age at which its appropriate for a child to receive their first smartphone, 75% say somewhere between the ages of 12 and 16. However, 2% of Germans say a one-year-old child should have a smartphone, 8% of Americans say the right age is 10, and 6% of people in the U.S. and Spain say parents should wait until kids reach the age of 18 before giving them their first smartphone.

Alarmingly, 53% of drivers across the world admit to using apps on their smartphone while behind the wheel. Some countries have made more headway than others at curbing this behavior, but the numbers of respondents saying they do this is consistently high: Germany (64%), France (61%), Spain (56%), U.S. (49%) and UK (30%).

Interestingly, pride emerged as the top reason that people stay with the mobile platform of their choice. Americans emerged as the most proud of their chosen operating system at a surprising 37%. However, overall iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows users say its pride that keeps them from switching (29%), followed by:
• Lack of apps on other platforms 24%
• Lack of desire to learn a new type of phone 23%
• Fear of needing to re-enter all contacts and phone numbers 22%

Looking ahead, the number one app capability that respondents wish they had is remote control of things in the home, such as lights, air conditioning, locks and garage doors (46%), followed by:
• Tracking energy usage in the home 38%
• Remote car start 34%
• Apps that can charge purchases directly to a mobile phone bill 21%

Americans desire for remote control of the home was the strongest at 61%, while Germany and France only clocked in at 34%.

“The findings of the study show that people all over the world are becoming increasingly intertwined with their mobile apps and are demanding more from them,” says Chet Kapoor, Apigee CEO. “Apps are becoming transformative to everything we do, but an app is only as good as its APIs. Apigees API platform helps build powerful digital ecosystems that let us all shop, communicate and connect through apps on trillions of mobile devices.”

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by uSamp (, the Answer Network, a premier provider of technology and survey respondents used to obtain consumer and business insights. The survey was conducted online in February 2013 on behalf of Apigee and asked 762 respondents across the U.S., UK, Germany, France and Spain to provide insight, preferences and feedback on the subject of mobile apps.

Kapoor will be participating in a keynote address, “Mobile as a Platform for Innovation,” at Mobile World Congress this week on Thursday, February 28 at 9:30am.

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