updated 12:20 pm EDT, Tue April 28, 2009
Compete on iPhone and Work
Apple's iPhone is much more likely to be voluntarily used as a personal device than smartphones from longstanding challengers, a new Compete study shows. Although 59 percent of those surveyed that own BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile phones use theirs primarily for work, about 73 percent of iPhones are used primarily for personal use. To the researchers, the bias is more to do with an emphasis on non-traditional apps than the suitability of the phone to its particular task, as the iPhone is more likely to have software that caters to more than just calendars and e-mail.
"Now people are using [smartphones] for personal productivity," Compete research director Danielle Nohe says to the New York Times. "There's a broader range of people who have reasons to use a smartphone."
Nohe points to the quality of the App Store's offerings as a distinguishing factor and observes that iPhone owners are more likely to pay for apps than on competing platforms. Having a large collection makes the device "sticky" and means iPhones are more likely to be kept the entire day, the analyst says, where traditional business phones are more likely to be used only some of the day.
The creations this year of BlackBerry App World, Nokia's Ovi Store and Windows Marketplace for Mobile are seen primarily as attempts to close this gap and encourage the use of third-party software on platforms whose app communities have previously been isolated and rarely used as selling points for the devices themselves.
iPhones in particular have become a regular home for GPS-aware apps outside of pure navigation, such as point-of-interest reviews through Yelp or social networks that follow activity from nearby members, like Tweetie.