Nielsen Provides Mobile Apps Data Download

The good people at Nielsen have just released some interesting survey based data about mobile applications and their relative popularity. Nielsen surveyed “4,200 people who had downloaded an application in the past 30 days.”

Nielsen says that 21% of American mobile phone owners had a smartphone in Q4 2009. The number is now closer to 24% per Nielsen, our data and InsightExpress. The most popular smartphone apps, according to the Nielsen survey, are Facebook, Google Maps and Weather Channel. 

The following graphic shows the category breakdown with smartphones in yellow and feature phones in blue. One interesting thing to observe: regardless of handset type the category leaders are essentially the same. Smartphones just seem to make it easier for people to do what they’re already doing otherwise. 

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While weather and maps are both local and two of the top three categories, many more of the categories on the list address offline activity: travel, entertainment/food, movies and some portion of the shopping category. 

Below are the top apps by smartphone platform, according to the survey:

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Notice that Facebook is the top app on all platforms other than Android. Google search is also not among the top apps except on the Android platform. 

Wired’s iPad Launch a Reasonable Start

Wired magazine launched on the iPad about a week ago and I just got around to paying the $4.99 “cover price.” The company reported about 24,000 downloads in the first 24 hours. It’s currently the second most popular paid app, so I’d guess the downloads have nearly doubled by now.

Wired sells about 82,000 single copies per issue, according to one of the Wired blogs. The print magazine has about 672,000 subscribers.

There are a number of innovative elements in the iPad version of the magazine; however in general it felt as though the company had merely scanned the pages into the digital format. Indeed, the overall translation of Wired to the iPad was relatively uninspired.

I was also struck by how many ad pages there were. In order to “work,” ads on the iPad will need to be more thoughtful and compelling than simply electronic versions of the print ad. A few ads did have video. 

Below I’ve highlighted some of the interactive elements of the Wired iPad app:

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It would be relatively easy for Wired’s iPad edition to exceed newsstand single copy sales in a short period of time. However the company can and should do more in later issues to take advantage of the digital format, interactive features and video capability.

I think Time did a better job with its iPad launch. 

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Related: Adobe reveals magazine iPad-izer software