The arrival of Apple's App Store in 2008 changed the marketplace for mobile developers and mobile carriers alike. The App Store changed the perception of what an app store for mobile devices should look like and started a new arms race among mobile carriers and handset manufacturers. According to a new survey by market research firm Nielsen, however, Apple is still ahead of its competitors. Apple's customers install more applications on their device than users of any other platform and Apple's customers are also more satisfied with Apple's app store than the users of any other app store.

Apps Installed Per Device

iPhone users have installed an average of 37 applications on their devices - more than the users on any other smartphone platform - while Blackberry users only use 10 apps on their phones. Android users have around 22 apps on their phones, followed by Palm users (14) and Windows Mobile users (13). Unsurprisingly, feature phone users don't install a lot of apps on their devices. Only 12% of cell phone users with feature phones downloaded an app in the last 30 days. In contrast to this, about 46% of smartphone owners installed an app in the last month.

App Stores

With regards to the popularity of different app stores, Nielsen's data isn't that interesting, as most users don't really have a choice. Apple's App Store is the most used mobile app store and has captured 25% of the market, followed by Blackberry's App World Store (16%). Carrier stores run by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are also still very popular and have a market share between 8% (T-Mobile) and 15% (Verizon). The Android Market only had about a 2% market share by the end of 2009, but given the small number of devices on the market at that time, this number will surely grow in 2010 as more device manufactures add Android devices to their lineup.

Customer Satisfaction

When it comes to customer satisfaction, Apple's App Store and the Android Market are far ahead of their competitors. 84% of Apple's users are satisfied with the user experience in the iTunes store and 81% of Android users are happy about their experience. All the other stores, however, still have a lot of catching up to do. In Nielsen's survey, the Windows Marketplace ranked the lowest (56%), followed by the Blackberry App World store (58%).