Mobile Addicts

Flurry released a report on how many times people launch applications in a day. The data is quite interesting.

  1. People launch applications 10 times per day on average with a significant proportion opening apps more than 60 times per day (the addicts).
  2. Women are more likely to be addicts then men.
  3. In addition to people under 24-years of age, middle-aged parents were also more likely to be addicts.

In the report, Flurry touches on wearables;

Mobile Addicts launch apps over 60 times per day, making them consumers that are effectively wearing their devices. This analysis of the Mobile Addict should give us a sneak preview into the make-up of early-adopters of Wearables, and what types of apps and experiences will resonate with them. To date, many applications for Wearables have focused on fitness and health, but thinking about what’s next, developers should think about the other experiences that will delight the people who need to be connected all the time. This includes Teens, College Students and Middle-Aged parents who are interested gaming, autos, sports and shopping, and who may have a constant need to entertain or educate their children. After all, the people who we consider “Mobile Addicts” are already essentially wearing their devices 24/7/365.

While I agree with the general conclusion on wearables, I think we can go a bit deeper into discussion. My feelings are the following;

  1. Addicts are launching apps over 60 times per day. If we assume that launching means more than simply being notified, then it is likely that notification-type smartwatches are not enough for the addicts. Addicts aren’t satisfied with being notified; they want to do more.
  2. If smartwatches are going to replace the time that you spend on your smartphone, it has to be a better experience for the key task which addicts do 60 times per day. As long as smartwatches focus on notifications, they will never be a better experience, because that is only a small part of the jobs-to-be-done.
  3. Flurry suggests that wearables focus on what the addicts do. I do not agree. Addicts are obviously quite satisfied with their smartphones and have high demands. It would be difficult for a wearable to sufficiently replace them. Replacing a high-end product with a low-end one won’t work.
  4. Instead, wearables should focus on other things; things that do not require constant user interaction. Wearables should focus on being a new-market disruption.
  5. I am very interested in what role the form-factor plays in the constant-interaction shown by addicts. Obviously, if the phone is going to be accessed more than 60 times a day, it has to be in a very convenient location and has to be easy to pull out. It is obviously better for the device to be small enough to carry close by. Although there is a trend towards large smartphones, I’m doubtful if those phones allow this kind of constant-interaction, especially for women.