The core functionality of smart phones is essentially the same. They come pre-installed with an operating system and a stock set of programs or applications. These applications generally include an e-mail client, an address book, a calendar, a program for taking notes or saving text, a Web browser. With that it would be easy to assume that people look for app availability when making a decision on what phone to buy. This does not seem to be the case. According to the chart below, the primary use of phones is currently texting (Hubspot, 2011).
When looking at the chart you can see that the functions of the phone make up the primary usage, versus only 5% of a users time is spent using apps. A person’s mobile phone has become a critical part of our daily lives. With this, the daily functions we perform has to be easy and intuitive. I have no doubt that app availability is a factor, we discuss this on a regular basis in my office. I believe the reason Blackberry is losing market share is because the lack of availability of apps. Looking at the chart below, you can see the RIM is losing market share as Google and Apple are continuing to gain (Hubspot, 2011).
Ease of use and app availability are key factors, but not the primary decision factor. The final chart below shows the key factors in making a purchase decision on a mobile device. The brand, model and look/feel are the top reasons, followed by the operating system. The operating system relates directly to the functions available, while app availability tied (Hubspot, 2011).
Hubspot. (May 2011). More than Talk: Action in Mobile Marketing. Marketing Charts Data Insights.