Thursday, Jul 08, 2021, 20:05 Software

The Most Common Apps On Android & iOS – Study Shows Market Disruption Due To Preinstalled Apps

More than a decade ago, Microsoft was required by law to inform users of the existence of third party browsers for Windows devices. The thought at the time was that if an operating system already has more than a 90% share of the market and comes with preinstalled applications, then most users will use exactly and only these preinstalled applications. However, Microsoft's Internet Explorer's twilight days had already long since begun. However, the considerations stemmed from a time at which the browser from Redmond was used by more than 95% of all computer users.

Monopoly Within A Platform?
Nowadays, anti-trust lobbyists raise similar questions, although the situation has changed significantly. For example, now, it's less usual for one manufacturer to have power over browser, media software, and other standards – in Apple's case, however, the company still has control over a platform with more than a billion users. If Apple preinstalls apps and services onto its own devices, this represents a massive advantage over other apps and services competing for downloads. This is the reason for current discussions concerning forcing Apple to change its policy concerning preinstalled apps, similarly to Europe with the Microsoft ruling. Either stop preinstalling software or offer a selection window.



Users Gravitate Towards Preinstalled Apps
As should come as no surprise, users will tend to use the apps already on their device as opposed to an app that they have to search for. A recent study run by Comscore and financed by Facebook shows which apps users use most. Apple's own preinstalled apps are consistently at the top, and only the third-party app youtube makes a quick appearance at 8th place. Of course, it's obvious that apps necessary for the intended functioning of the device are also included in this list (apps such as Camera, Clock, or Phone).

The 20 most frequently used apps show a clear preference for apps pre-installed by manufacturers. In fact, 15 apps on the list are from Apple and only 5 from third parties. The situation also looks similar on Android, where mostly preinstalled Apps from Google dominate – although not as significantly. One of the factors contributing to this is, for example, the fact that Samsung smartphones also come with other preinstalled apps. However, it's easy to recognize (in both charts) which side has the advantage – and it's very clearly the manufacturer when preinstalled apps are at play.

Apple Sees Holes In Recent Study
It's clear what Facebook would like to prove with the study. The numbers are meant to serve as further proof that Apple and Google are abusing their hold over the market and hardly leaving competitors a chance. On the other hand, Apple criticizes the recent study, arguing that it represents a false impression of the level of competition found on the App Store – where offers for every category and app type can be found. In every category, apps can be found that compete with Apple's own preinstalled software. However, this isn't the matter of debate. It's obvious that the App Store contains apps that compete with software preinstalled by Cupertino. Facebook and Comscore have simply proven that most users gravitate towards programs and services preinstalled by a manufacturer. However, what's not present in the data is how many users are convinced by such actions to use preinstalled apps as opposed to other apps offering the same services.

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