IDC Study Finds It Pays to Know Who Influences Mass Market App Trends

SAN MATEO, Calif., January 23, 2012 – A new study from International Data Corporation (IDC) finds that success with mobile apps begins with targeting the right audience. IDC's ConsumerScape 360° research program has identified six distinct consumer market segments: Tech Evangelists, Impulse Buyers, Experimental Adopters, Pragmatic Purchasers, Green Buyers, and Disengaged Functionalists. One market segment in particular, Tech Evangelists, was found to be particularly influential when it comes to mobile apps.

"Tech evangelists not only own the most devices and utilize the most advanced functions, features, and apps, they are also the group that drives adoption of device ownership and usage by other market segments," said Michael DeHart, director of IDC's Global ConsumerScape 360° program.

Tech Evangelists are not only deeply involved in app usage, but also the most educated consumers about apps and technology in general, leading others to seek out their advice. Their spending on technology and apps is expected to increase at least 10% in 2012 compared to 2011, even in the currently impaired economy.

"In terms of formulating a strategy for the prioritization of app development and marketing, focusing on Tech Evangelists’ download and usage of apps will deliver the largest ROI by far in terms of segment-based app development and marketing," added DeHart.

IDC's ConsumerScape 360° research reveals other key insights into mobile apps:

Free apps comprise 85% of the total app market.

The most popular free apps are gaming, music, social networking, weather, news, entertainment and navigation.

In the paid apps market, the most popular categories are music, games, navigation, entertainment, and books — a category that does not perform well in the free app space.

App usage varies by country as well as by market segment. Generally speaking, categories of apps preferred are relatively stable across market segments, but the rates of download and usage vary dramatically.

South Korean consumers, as shown in Figure 1, are most likely of all smartphone users worldwide to download both free and paid apps. Swedish and American consumers are also highly app-engaged smartphone users.

The IDC study, ConsumerScape 360: Consumer Market Segments and the Global Mobile App Market (Doc #232448), provides a deep, consumer-segment based viewpoint of the global mobile app market, including essential guidance for vendors, marketers, and app developers. IDC's ConsumerScape 360° program surveyed more than 50,000 consumers in 25 countries across the Americas, Asia/Pacific, CEMA and Western Europe. In addition to covering all major mature markets worldwide, ConsumerScape 360° covers first-tier emerging markets such as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and also provides detailed analysis for second-tier emerging markets such as Poland, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting