Having apps and using apps are not synonymous. In May 2010, Pew Internet data showed that among adults with apps on their phones, only about two-thirds (68%) reported actually using them. Overall, that meant that while 35% of U.S. adults had apps on their phone, just 24% of adults actually used them.
The current survey asked those who reported having apps on a cell phone and/or reported having a tablet computer how many apps they use on each device at least once a week.
Among adults who have apps on their cell phone, roughly half of this group (51%) use a handful of apps at least once a week while 17% report using no apps on a regular basis. Almost a third (31%) could be called app “power users” in that they use 6 or more apps on a weekly basis. Among adults who have a tablet computer, 39% report using 6 or more apps on a weekly basis, while just 8% report using no apps regularly on the device. Differences between the groups are not statistically significant, given the small sample size (and large margin of error) for tablet owners.
When these figures are computed as a percentage of all adults, apps use is put in clearer perspective. Figure 8 shows the percent of all adults who use apps on a cell phone or tablet computer on a regular basis. Among all U.S. adults, only one in three (35%) report using any apps on their cell phone on a regular, weekly basis. And just one in ten adults (9%) report using apps on a tablet computer at least once a week.