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back to article One-third of iPad fanbois don't download apps

One-third of iPad owners have never downloaded a single app, either paid or free. "Almost two-thirds of iPad owners have already downloaded a paid app," concludes The Nielsen Company's survey of over 5,000 "connected device" owners entitled "The Increasingly Connected Consumer: Connected Devices" (PDF). The way we see it, that …

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Anonymous Coward

Confusing

>"far more receptive to advertising" than other connected-device owners

Does that just mean that they don't mind adverts as much as users of other platforms or are they implying iPad owners are more likely to click-through and buy stuff? To attract advertisers presumably its the latter that matters, but with such a sizable minority not even pulling down Apps for peanuts it doesn't really add up.

Another interpretation could be that 1/3 of iPads are sitting on a shelf after the honeymoon.....but presumably that's unthinkable.

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Re: Confusing

I read it as meaning "more gullible".

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Go

...or...

33% are jail breaking and downloading from else where.

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Anonymous Coward

...or...

1/3 find built-in apps are sufficient for requirements.

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Quite possibly

I use my iPad every day. I love it and prefer it to using a laptop for many things. I have paid for downloaded apps but the vast majority of my daily use is confined to the pre-loaded ones. I can quite believe that there are large numbers of people who don't need it to do any more than what it does out of the box. I know quite a few people with iPhones that are like that.

I love the way these articles provoke responses of bigotry toward Apple customers. It's like they are all in a race to post the first or most extreme comment.

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Who needs Apps anyway.....

>I use my iPad every day. I love it and prefer it to using a laptop for many things. I have paid for downloaded apps but the vast majority of my daily use is confined to the pre-loaded ones.

Good to hear an ardent fan confirming Job's constant harping about the size of his App store really is irrevelant.

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Warped Logic

>Good to hear an ardent fan confirming Job's constant harping about the size of his App store really is irrevelant.

How bonkers is that conclusion? I didn't say I didn't use any of the apps I bought or don't find them useful.

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Unhappy

May they just want to say ...

"I've got one" and then leave it unused, once the novelty has worn off.

Or they haven't figured out advanced features like downloading?

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Paris Hilton

Novelty.

Won one in a raffle a few weeks ago, played with it for a few days... Lovely piece of hardware, very 'ooooh shiny' but honestly? My Kindle does a better job of books, my ipod does music better because it fits in my pocket, my laptop does documents better because I like a real keyboard and I can browse anywhere on the web without snarky messages from Adobe about how my device has been 'restricted' by the manufacturer.

It's in its box in a cupboard gently discharging by itself with no downloaded apps and I'm typing this on my laptop, 'nuff said really.

Now I just need to work out which family member to give it to or if I should flog it via an online tat bazaar..

Paris, Don't know if the novelty would wear off but I'm willing to find out.

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Jobs Halo

How about those used for development?

My company has multiple iPads that we've never downloaded apps to. We use them for testing and running our own software. I'd say we have about 30 in this building alone.

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Bronze badge

Maths

Unless there have only been 90 iPads sold to date, I think we still need to keep looking for some others that haven't had anything downloaded to them. Seriously - you think 1/3rd of all sales are to developers?

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Happy

Who cares?

I'm an investor. Look at the stock price, and look at what the stock has done during the past few years.

Would I have been better off investing in MSFT because their followers throw so much money at them?

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Bronze badge

as an investor...

wouldn't you also be interested in getting dividends?

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Helping the labour market !

It never ceases to amaze me how many organizations and companies make money pulling all kinds of studies and statistics out of their rear in the fringe of Apples magic and revolutionary distortion field.

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WTF?

So What?

Who cares.

People who are dumb enough to fall for Apple of my i hype and allow themselves to be screwed by Big Jobs are devoid of common sense.

They prove that just by buying the overrated crap produced by Apple.

Whatever they do or don't do after they've wasted their money can in no way be used as an indication of anything remotely understandable.

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Troll

Troll much?

Just get back under the bridge please, so the adults can have a sensible discussion.

Though this is an Apple article, so the definition of sensible might need stretching a bit.

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Silver badge

In a cupboard, next to the waffle maker

Loads of people buy stuff, play with it for a short time, discover it doesn't make their lives better and then forget about it. It happens to almost every kitchen appliance, most of your DVDs, a large proportion of peoples' clothes (some of which are *never* worn - not even once) and one-third of the food we buy. All this tells us is that we are susceptible to advertising, buy stuff impulsively, don't feel the need to return or sell-on things we don't want or are optimistic enough to think "one day I'll sit down and read that book".

There's no reason why Apple's products should be any different from other stuff we buy from shopping channels or after seeing a shiny, sparkly advertisement that promises all sorts of things we know aren't true (but wish they were) or buy 'cos "that person off the telly has one". Goods are made to be sold, not to be used, and once money has changed hands and the warranty has expired, why should Apple or anyone else care how much use their stuff gets put to. By then, they've moved on to the next minor alteration to their thingy - now marketed as revolutionary, new, life-changing and even better value - just like the old one was.

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Jobs Horns

But...

...you still want one right?

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Silver badge

Nah

>...you still want one right?

I've already got a waffle maker, and no more room in the cupboard

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Anonymous Coward

ads

I have clicked on iAds. This is because they are usually ads for other apps and i know that clicking will only take me to more info about the app and i probably wont buy it anyway.

I never click ads in my web browser.

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Anonymous Coward

"built-in apps...sufficient for requirements"

Could someone explain why this is cool, when whilst other companies face anti-trust cases for including things like a browser or media player?

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Flame

re: built in apps-sufficient for requirements

email client, web browser. Perfect for it's target non-geek audience.

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Re: "built-in apps...sufficient for requirements"

First, let's get something straight and out of the way. When you say "other companies face anti-trust cases," you mean Microsoft, right? Because I know not of any other company with such a prospect. If so, then you probably are referring to the U.S. vs. Microsoft anti-trust case. Right.

Now that we have our topics straight, let's compare the two situations and see why Microsoft was being accused of violating anti-trust legislation, while Apple is not.

First there's the reason that anti-trust legislation was created to address. Being a ruthless businessman or corporation is not illegal in and of itself. Corporations can pretty much do whatever they want to do, as long as they do it with their own stuff and do not interfere with the natural forces of the market (i.e. competition). Moreover, being a monopoly--effectively the single corporation controlling a specific market sector--is not illegal either, otherwise, the government would be forced to create fake companies to artificially compete with those that actually turned out to be very successful.

Anti-trust legislation comes about to prevent a monopoly using their advantage in a market to unduly restrict competition within that market or another one. If you happen to sell the best widget around at the best price, and your customers are so happy and loyal that they absolutely ignore the competition, so that your company is the last one standing; that is a Good Thing. However, if you then attempt to collude with distributors to prevent any other potentially better widget-maker from even coming to market, then it is a Bad Thing; for you are abusing your monopoly position to restrict trade, and therefore violating anti-trust legislation.

Microsoft was accused of the second scenario: essentially colluding with computer Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and sometimes threatening with artificial licensing constraints or even financial sanctions, so that they restrain from installing any other web browser in the PCs they sell. Microsoft was therefore abusing their monopoly position in the PC Desktop Operating System market to restrict trade in the Web Browser Market.

Notice that the inclusion of say, Calculator, Notepad, Minesweeper, Defrag, etc. was never an issue. Nobody cared about what Microsoft included in their own operating system, really. What they cared about was the vibrant competition being brought forth by third-party Web Browsers, which Microsoft was conspiring to destroy by preventing them from being installed in PCs--hardware that is not owned nor sold by them.

Now, let's look at Apple. They own the device, they own the operating system, and they own the store. They control the entire thing, from end to end. This is not really a problem in itself. As explained above, It is only a problem if it restricts trade within a market.

For Apple to be accused of anti-trust, they not only need to have a monopoly in a particular market, they must abuse their advantage to restrict trade. Do they have a monopoly? Let's discuss the iPhone as an example. On the surface, it may seem that by controlling the distribution channel end to end, they are restricting trade in the iPhone market. However, is that the real market or just a segment of it?

Recall, Microsoft did not get in trouble for having a monopoly on Windows Operating Systems; it was for abusing their effective monopoly in Operating Systems for Personal Computers, which is a broader definition and the one that mattered.

Yes, Apple has a monopoly in the sale and distribution of iPhone and iPhone Apps. However, this is a very small and narrow market. The actual market defined for their devices is the broader Smartphones and Smartphone Apps, of which the iPhone is but a very small segment. If you think about it, RIM also has a monopoly in the BlackBerry Smartphones segment, just as Ford has a monopoly in the construction and sale of the Mustang within the Automobiles Made By Ford segment.

If the iPhone were to be so successful that it displaced all other Smartphones from the market, including any Android variant and the BlackBerrry (a tall order, indeed), and the iPhone became the de facto definition of a Smartphone; then a monopoly in iPhones distribution is essentially a monopoly in the Smartphone market. Still, not illegal.

If such situation were to happen, then all the controlling that Apple is doing now would effectively restrict trade in the Smartphone market, and it should be investigated for possible anti-trust violations. However, until then, Apple--like any other commercial entity--is free to do with their products as they wish and how the wish.

-dZ.

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Sure

>Could someone explain why this is cool, when whilst other companies face anti-trust cases for including things like a browser or media player?

Sure. First it's other company (singular) not companies. That other company was Microsoft. In the 2000s they were deemed a monopoly and judged as leveraging their monopoly power to stifle competition (Netscape) by packaging a browser in their OS for free thus effectively cutting off Netscape's income (who charged for their browser).

Apple is not a monopoly. Not even close. They are vertically integrated, meaning they make many of the parts from hardware to software, to chips themselves. Other companies outsource to other companies, they are horizontally integrated. They make and specialize in mostly 1 layer (OS or hardware, or parts, etc).

Back in the day, all personal computer manufacturers (Commodore, Atari, Coleco, Apple, etc) were vertically integrated until IBM was caught with their pants down, and threw together what we now know as a PC using parts from other vendors. IBM just made the BIOS and bought the rest of the parts from other companies. During the dawn of the computer revolution, it worked well, but in my opinion it stifled innovation at least at the software level. Once Microsoft knocked off Novell (it's last OS victim) it really had no motivation to be creative (or no one to steal from). Thus, Windows 98, ME, XP, Vista. (Yes XP was great but no great leap from 2K).

The point of all that is that Apple is finally returning innovation to the personal computer realm, and I whole heartedly welcome it. They are able to do things most horizontal companies can't (even if they wanted to which they didn't until Apple) because they are more vertical. The PC industry has been stagnant for the past decade due to the big fish raking in the cash simply because they dominated the market, mainly by having the most installs. If Apple takes the market, they may do the same, but it will be a long time until they do.

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Why is calc different from IE?

"Notice that the inclusion of say, Calculator, Notepad, Minesweeper, Defrag, etc. was never an issue. Nobody cared about what Microsoft included in their own operating system, really."

This is an interesting analogy and one that gets to the heart of my confusion about this whole antitrust thing. What's the difference between calc and IE, really? Why's one part of the OS and the other not? Is it just that there were other companies trying to make competing browsers whereas nobody happened to be trying to compete in the calculator widget market?

If at the time I'd set up a company dedicated to creating a better desktop calculator and selling it for cash, would this have changed the situation so that the powers that be would try to make MS stop bundling calc with Windows? That is, was the only difference that there happened to be a 'market' in browsers but not in calculator or defragmentation programmes? There doesn't seem any fundamental difference between the two kinds of programmes. Can the legality or otherwise of MS's actions really hinge on the kinds of software its competitors decide to make?

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Re: Why is calc different from IE?

As you suggest, there is no actual difference. And Microsoft is free to bundle any calculator program they want with their own products.

However, what they cannot do is act or conspire to act in a way that will prevent other calculator programs from being bundled into the computers.

At the heart of your confusion is the actual wrong doing of Microsoft. The accusation was not the bundling of IE with the Operating System. It was that doing so--for free--prevented the established market from making any money. It was established that Microsoft did not do this by coincidence nor by altruism, but with malice, for the specific purpose of destroying Netscape. It was further established that this was done by collusion or extortion, essentially abusing their dominant position in the PC Operating System market to control a second market which they do not control.

Nobody is prevented from giving away software for free, that's their problem. However, market monopolies have special rules that they need to follow. They cannot do what normal companies do to compete against each other because they are in a privilege position of dominance, and therefore may influence the market forces artificially.

So, to answer your question, the difference was not only that there was a "market" for browsers and not for calculator applications, but that Microsoft abused their dominant position in one market to restrict trade in another.

You have to ignore the black-and-white appearance of the trial decision. Anti-trust rules are special rules that only apply to monopolies, and even then, are decided on a case-by-case basis, with regards to the intent and the overall effect on the market and the consumer. If Apple were indeed a monopoly and told developers that they cannot develop in anything but Objective-C, this is still not anti-competitive in and of itself. A court may find that applications run better (pshaw!) when programmed in Objective-C, and therefore the customer ultimately wins. But the court could also decide that re-training in a different language is an unwarranted and onerous requirement which results in the inability of programmers to compete openly, and therefore amounts to restriction of trade. If it is further discovered that Apple did this specifically to, say, destroy Adobe, then even more so.

I hope this helps.

-dZ.

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thanks!

thanks for that; helpful.

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@DZ-Jay

"However, if you then attempt to collude with distributors to prevent any other potentially better widget-maker from even coming to market, then it is a Bad Thing; for you are abusing your monopoly position to restrict trade, and therefore violating anti-trust legislation."

Oh, you mean like Apple and Flash? Or Apple and the Adobe product for building an iPhone app?

"Notice that the inclusion of say, Calculator, Notepad, Minesweeper, Defrag, etc. was never an issue. Nobody cared about what Microsoft included in their own operating system, really. What they cared about was the vibrant competition being brought forth by third-party Web Browsers"

Bad analogy there mate, Calculator, Notepad, who has a product and is on the market competing with MSFT there?

See, MSFT says sell our product, but sell our product. Not yours. Which is fair enough really, *nix comes with Firefox, Apple comes with Safari, MSFT comes with IE. But no, it isn't fair, because as seen, users are lazy. We like FOSS but to hell with installing our own system and troubleshooting ourselves, we want it sold to us. We don't install another browser, we don't switch products. Using something that isn't technology, apparently females when they buy their first tampons, stick with them for life. That's completely unrelated to a computer, yea? Same concept, different product, but definitely not technology.

What's wrong with MSFT is that no-one can compete. People stick with their first product until it f***'s them over, at which point they hate the company and go with another. Same with boy/girl friends.

So the problem is that companies were dying, think iRiver and iPods. I can't go into a store and buy an iRiver mass media portable music player because the only ones that exist nowadays are iPods. iRivers were great products, and I mean great. They had all the features we've begged Apple to introduce into their iPods, but they worked. You didn't need to install a proprietary product to transfer music, you weren't locked into anything. They were reliable, etc. But find me one today? Not at the online store, that's cheating. :P

Or podcasts, great idea. Now find me a university that does a podcast that isn't in .aac. A proprietary product that you need either iTunes or an iPod to play. Which means you need iTunes. And Quicktime installed, or iTunes won't function. Not just videos, it just randomly freezes up.

Lets see, dealt with Flash, music players, formats, sure I'm missing something.. An OS you can only install on certain hardware? Nah, that's not anti-trust. Regardless that the platform is increasing in popularity.

Change focus to another company instead of Apple to show the different standards in the market, shall we? Hmm.. Google? The search engine that has forced so many others out of business. They own Blogspot, so Geocities died. Bing is around, but that's only because it has MSFT behind it willing to dump $$$ into it to keep it alive. Was a survey done, Yahoo Search got the best results, then Bing, then Google. But no, Google is the big product. Quality isn't in there.

Apple.. Apple is the company who takes an FOSS product, puts a fancy GUI on it and sells it for a few thousand, with a few hundred thrown on top for a few parts from the junk bin to build the actual PC.

"But Apple desktop users can install Flash". That's the argument I keep hearing, but the resellers can't, but MSFT users could install another browser.

Apple can control a platform but MSFT can't? Come on, same standards all round. MSFT have messed with me repeatedly, the version of Vista I bought doesn't work and kept getting transferred between reseller and MSFT, etc. so I have no love for the company. Granted, it could be the reseller, but I hate equally. Keep the same standards for everyone else. People sue MSFT because it's MSFT, because they're freaking huge. They're less controlling than companies like Apple and Google, they're kinder to the FOSS world. Granted, kindness is.. Well, think of them as insane. Friendly at one moment, psychopathically violent trying and trying to murder your family the next. :P But still better than Apple.

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Re: Why is calc different from IE?

"At the heart of your confusion is the actual wrong doing of Microsoft. The accusation was not the bundling of IE with the Operating System. It was that doing so--for free--prevented the established market from making any money."

It was and still is a good business strategy that is used by all companies. MSFT objected to resellers deleting their programs and installing competitors, that they paid them for it was ridiculous but that's my opinion. The main issue in the case was bundling, putting a product with another, the reason it won vs MSFT was because IE was the largest browser around, and MSFT has a history of being hit by anti-trust lawsuits. I buy a phone, I get a telco, I buy a car I get a certain air freshener, I buy a computer I get a browser.

And Apple won't get sued, not yet. They're liked too much by their adoring fans, which is what's so annoying. A suit by MSFT would be thrown out because it's MSFT, a suit by Adobe.. Well that destroys them anyway. They sue Apple and win, they don't get put on the iPhone. They don't sue Apple, they may or may not win S. Jobs over later.

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@Tom 79

As if, IE manufactured a better product for free, and Apple uses the same parts as MSFT, have done for years. Intel procs and Nvidia gfx. Same PC with a different OS. The last time they made their own product, start to finish was.. Lets see.. You remember those colourful computers? All shiny, CRT monitor built in, back poking out? That was the last time they made their own processors, been Intel ever since. Funnily enough, that's when I started disliking them. Before that they were innovative, they built fantastic products, they were forward thinking, everything I liked. Now they're just an expensive PC who lock you in to their system worse than anyone other company I can think of.

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Rational explanation

The idea that people are just downloading jailbroken apps is hilarious, and - like so many of the comments here - betray that the writer has no personal experience of the subject.

I suspect that the boring reason why a lot of people don't download apps is that they are part of the large majority who really don't understand technology much, and don't care as long is it's doing what they want. My sister, basically.

She loves her iPhone, but wouldn't have downloaded an app if her son hadn't done it for her. She doesn't back it up on iTunes. She never updates apps, and I'm sure she's never updated the software.

In part, this is a legacy of Windows. Over the years, she has been trained by working on a PC that change is dangerous. Don't click on any pop-ups, because they might contain viruses, or change your system so you can't use it.

Until Apple overcomes the psychological block to interacting with an OS manufacturer for people like my sister, I don't suspect that proportion will change. Until they die out, I suppose to be replaced by youngsters who've grown up on the idea of app stores...

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Silver badge

Another rational explanation

> don't understand technology ... change is dangerous

Or possibly it's because they regard their iPad as simply another appliance. It does certain things and that's what they want from it. After all, people don't go around upgrading their washing machines, or adding new options to their vacuum cleaner. If you think of an iPad not from the geek perspective of a platform to run programs, but from the user perspective of a white-good that performs a specific set of functions, the need for extra apps or updates simply goes away.

I wouldn't buy a car that was continually changing its engine management software, or the layout of the dashboard and I wouldn't go near a 'fridge that asked for a password before it would let me get the milk out.

Most people (and by that, I mean me) just want simple stuff that does a small number of straightforward tasks in the expected, intuitive way. Got a phone? fine - push buttons, talk to people. Got a TV? great - switch it on, watch chavs arguing. The very first time our dishwasher says "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that" is the time it will be introduced to the local dump.

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Linux

It's only pretending to be a toaster.

> After all, people don't go around upgrading their

> washing machines, or adding new options to

> their vacuum cleaner.

Your vacuum cleaner doesn't have an "app store" where the owner likes to crow about how many after market modifications are available for your vacuum cleaner.

The whole point of computers is that they can be many tools.

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Who's with me?

Who wants to join the campaign to ban spelling the word fan-boy as 'fanbois', for any context. I can't be the only one who reads it as 'fanbwaah'.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Who's with me?

That's because you're bourgeois.

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Happy

corrected for you Sarah

That'll be "bourgewaaaah" surely?

Tim

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Pint

Re..Re

Or Beaujolais even

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30% of users.....

said "Look at me everyone, Ive spent loads of money of this Ipad thingy. Look how shiney it is"

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Anonymous Coward

Or...

...does this mean 30% of people have 'jailbroken' (or whatever it is you do to an iPad) their pads and are running homebrew?

(I have no idea if you can get iPads to run homebrew or if a homebrew community for it even exists but whatever).

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Flame

iPad - It's way too big for my pocket

It's like the Segway of the computing world.

Interesting, but a bit naff, really.

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logic flaw

Why do you translate "Almost two-thirds of iPad owners have already downloaded a paid app," into "One-third of iPad owners have never downloaded a single app, either paid or free"???

- 2/3 have downloaded a paid app

- so the other 1/3 have downloaded no apps or only free apps

That's what the quote from that report says. Unless you misquoted.

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Thumb Down

Erm...

"- so the other 1/3 have downloaded no apps or only free apps

That's what the quote from that report says. Unless you misquoted."

It says clearly that 5% have download a free app and 32% have NEVER downloaded an app. So to sum up your comment: "TL; DR".

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Headmaster

RE: AC @ 11:17 GMT

While is is clear that Andy S hasn't read the article and thoroughly deserves your Thumbs Down icon, I'm confused by your use of "TL; DR" in reference to his comment. His comment wasn't particularly L, and you evidently did R all of it because you commented on it including text from the last sentence.

Unless you jumped to the last sentence ignoring the beginning part?

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FAIL

"unless you misquoted"

You must have noticed that I wrote "unless you misquoted". If you elaborate from a quotation but such quotation is not enough to support your argument then you have misquoted. That was my point.

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Bronze badge

English Fail

I guess English isn't your first language. He said "to sum up [Andy's] comment, TL:DR" which grammatically in English means that Andy must have found the article too long and did not read it, but commented anyway.

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iPad, is it worth buying?

iPad is a device that I bought as a matter of prestige and nothing else. Only thing I bought for him is iPad accessories

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Alien

the WiFi version

Bought the Wifi only version for the folks and they haven't downloaded a thing. They just use safari mainly but I've ended up syncing apps from my computer since they don't have iTunes.

My main gripe is the iTunes account. I dont like it.

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Jobs Horns

confirmed Apple disliker

But now, a new, proud, ipad owner - who still hates itunes, tho' I've managed to tame the beast. The app store... have you read Apples t&cs? once you've paid for an app, that's it, oh, you can apply for a refund but it's down to Apple whether you get it or not - you basically need a good reason, not liking it is not one, no 24 hours to decide like Android.

Many more apps are for sale with no demo than the Android market place, with only two or three glowing reviews which frankly could have been written by friends, and the amount of, what can only be described as copyright plagiarism, is phenominal - (jeez, I'm guessing Safari has no inbuilt spell checker!) with multiple apps looking like recolours of each other, maybe new textures and sounds, certainly not original ideas.

Sent from my fricken iPad - booyah! which I'm lovin' .

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No Apps?

Are we actually talking "people who have NEVER downloaded an app"?

This sounds like one of those statistical fallacy that crops up now and then, where they take results across a large population of data and then chop off everything at the very top and bottom.

So people who have a gazillion apps, will be removed from the data as a statistical anomaly, and people who have 2 or 3 apps will be counted as having zero.

I think that the actual figure is probably more like "1/3 of iPad owners has downloaded fewer than 5 apps", but they are counted as having zero as the statistics are not accurate enough to take account of them due to estimating and averaging.

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