Dutch consumers turn to mobile apps for communication

Dutch consumers turn to mobile apps for communication

Dutch consumers are increasingly turning to mobile applications for their communication needs.

According to the latest report from independent market researcher Telecompaper, almost 70 percent of smartphone users download apps, up from 50 percent a year ago. While games are still the most popular apps, used by 60 percent of smartphone owners, around half of smartphone users also have instant messaging (51%) and social networking apps (47%) downloaded, and 30 percent have installed apps for making voice calls. The results from the monthly ‘Dutch Apps Market’ report for June are based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel, which questions over 2,500 consumers aged 15-64 each month on their telecommunication services and habits.

The report focuses on apps for communication, instant messaging and social networking. Facebook is the most popular single app among these categories, installed on around 48 percent of smartphones. However, the messaging service WhatsApp has been catching up quickly, going from 30 percent to 43 percent of smartphone users over the past four months. This is equal to an estimated installed base of 2.2 million smartphones. Mobile users who download WhatsApp also use it: only 3 percent said they hardly ever or never use it. Ping, Twitter and Facebook are also more likely to be used once downloaded.

“Consumers are turning to apps like WhatsApp and Ping as these are easy to use and often free compared to standard services such as SMS,” said Ed Achterberg, senior analyst and author of the Telecompaper Dutch Mobile Apps report. “Mobile operators need to innovate more on their pricing and services to ensure they don’t lose traditional revenues to these new, over-the-top services.”

Over 70 percent of Apple phone users have WhatsApp installed. Ping is more popular with BlackBerry users, at over 70 percent, followed by WhatsApp with just over 60 percent. On Android, WhatsApp and Facebook have the highest penetration, with each downloaded on almost 60 percent ofsmartphones using the Google operating system.

WhatsApp and Twitter were the most highly rated apps among smartphone users. About 95 percent of all WhatsApp users said the app is ‘good’ or ‘very good’. This is slightly lower for social networking apps, with Facebook receiving 85 percent positive responses and Hyves at 73 percent.

The monthly report ‘Dutch Apps Market’ is based on the continuous online survey conducted by the Telecompaper Consumer Panel over the past twelve months. Every month at least 2,500 consumers are asked about their use of mobile telephony, broadband connections, fixed telephony and TV, including details on their current situation, purchasing habits, usage and churn. Results are CBS stratified for gender and age (15-64).

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