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Mónica Guzmán

Stories at the intersection of tech and life from a boldly connected city.

September 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Ever paid for an app? Half of us don’t bother

My iPhone home screen: So many apps for so little money.

Just half the people who have downloaded apps have ever paid for them, according to a new survey by the App Developer’s Alliance.

Three out of four people with app-capable devices like smartphones and tablets have downloaded at least one app, according to the survey of 1,000 online consumers. A third of those who haven’t plan to do so in the next six months.

That’s good news for a booming app market. But I’m more curious about price. A whopping 90 percent of apps that cost anything at all cost less than $3, according to data from Gartner.

Is that really too much to ask, or are all the best apps already free?

My most recent column took on app overload, offering four ways to clear a messy smartphone of little-used apps. In the course of writing it, I moved the apps I use the most to my iPhone’s home screen.

Of the 16 apps that greet me when I turn on my phone, only one — iMovie — cost me anything at all, just $4.99. My most used apps — Facebook, Twitter, Zite, and WebMD Baby (the little guy’s already 7 weeks old) — were all free. No surprise there; free apps will account for 9 of every 10 mobile app downloads this year, according to Gartner estimates.

App users: Does your smartphone or tablet tell a similar story?

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/6541693/”>How many of your most-used apps cost money?</a>Note: Four people responded to an earlier poll that asked the question in a different, less clear way. Noticing the oversight, I replaced that poll with this one.

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