70% of mobile users don't download apps

Skype wants more communication between mobile carriers, manufacturers and software developers
Skype wants more communication between mobile carriers, manufacturers and software developers

Over 70 per cent of mobile phone users have never downloaded an application to their mobile device, according to a recent survey.

VoIP specialist Skype published the data this week from the recent Zogby survey of over 3000 mobile phone users in the US, Japan, Spain and the UK which it claims shows a major discrepancy.

"Mobile users still perceive a gap between the purpose and controllability of their computers versus their mobile devices" and that "this gap correlates with the finding that the vast majority of mobile users do not yet download applications to their mobile devices."

Applications such as Skype, for example!

Mobile users want control

Skype claims that the results of the survey clearly show that most of the respondents "expressed a strong desire to be able to choose mobile applications for themselves" and that they were prepared to "pay more for a device that will allow them to control the applications."

Other highlights of the findings include:

- 62% do not yet view their mobile device as an extension of their computer.

- Only 23% feel that they have more or the same level of control over their mobile device as they have over their computer.

- 67% want to be able to choose their mobile applications for themselves, rather than have their carriers choose for them.

Spaniards show the way

The Spanish are perhaps the most forward-thinking when it comes to viewing mobile devices as mini computers, with nearly half of the Spanish respondents (47%) viewing their mobile devices as extensions of their PCs or Macs (and 48% of them having downloaded applications to their devices, a much larger percentage than the other markets surveyed).

Unsurprisingly, younger respondents under the age of 30 in Japan "were less likely to consider their mobile device to be just a phone" with 50% viewing them as both phones and computers.

Scott Durchslag, Chief Operating Officer of Skype takes the opportunity to comment on the results, noting: "This is a clear call to action for all of us in the communications industry – carriers, device manufacturers, and software companies like Skype – to work together to deliver what the mobile consumer, especially the next generation of device and data plan buyers, obviously want and expect.

"Together, we can bring a rich PC-like communications experience to mobile devices – one that combines voice, video, presence, instant messaging, and file sharing. In doing so, consumers win, and so does the industry as it fuels growth in data minutes and revenues."

Skype is now available on a number of mobile operating systems such as Android, Windows Mobile, and Java-enabled phones, and is now available on more than 100 devices from LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson.

Plus of course it is also available in the cheap-as-chips version on the 3 Skypephone.

Adam Hartley