15 Sep 2010

Mobile application usage unexpectedly low among adults

Data released recently by the Pew Research Center found fewer than one-third of adults download applications to their mobile devices. The findings could cool the concerns over internet security on smartphones.

The Pew Research Center said just 29 percent of adults download apps and just 24 percent categorize themselves as regular mobile app users. The findings are surprising considering 35 percent of adults own smartphones with mobile application support, and the smartphone market is expected to increase by 55.4 percent this year.

"As the mobile phone has morphed from a voice device to a multi-channel device to an internet-accessing mini-computer," the report said, "a large market of mobile software applications, or 'apps,' has arisen."

Apparently not at the rate some had previously thought. While the report found that 67 percent of adults had used a mobile app, only 13 percent had actually paid to download one.

The spread of viruses through smartphone apps has received increased attention with several malicious threats targeted at Android users discovered recently. One involves a Russian pornography application and another is a vulnerability in Flash that Adobe uncovered.