Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps

eMarketer on mobile browsers vs apps

According to research conducted by Keynote, US mobile phone users prefer browsing their way to favorite websites rather than downloading an app version of the site that’s been optimized for the mobile-phone experience. The only categories where mobile users prefer apps over the standard browser experience are social media (namely Facebook and Twitter), games and music services.

The findings bring me back to 1999, when websites were obsessed with building-client app or browser-extension versions of themselves, only to realize that web users mostly opted to skip the download-and-install process in favor of browsing, bookmarking or searching for content by way of an upstart called Google. As eMarketer suggests, this data will disappoint sites that were hoping to use apps to snatch up permanent real-estate in a smartphone land grab:

“These preferences may surprise mobile experts who consider apps to offer the best content and shopping experiences. And marketers may be frustrated as well; getting an app on a user’s home screen is a constant reminder of the brand, but it doesn’t make sense to offer an app users don’t want.”

Interesting implications, too, for Apple’s iAds, the business unit dedicated to creating in-application advertising that, like the apps themselves, is designed exclusively for the smartphone experience. Maybe the naysayers are right.

  1. # app developer said: November 4th, 2010 at 9:57 am

    So people prefer to go to ebay using a browser rather than the ebay app… really?

  2. # Tweets that mention Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps -- said: November 4th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chas Edwards, carolynwong. carolynwong said: RT @chasnote: US mobile users mostly prefer mobile browser over dedicated apps. What are implications for Apple's iAds? [...]

  3. # Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps | Placedelamode said: November 17th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

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