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Study: Content browsers trump apps for mobile content

Consumers prefer using mobile browsers, rather than downloadable applications, to access content on their cell phones and Blackberrys, according to a report from Adobe.

Sixty-six percent of consumers prefer to review content via mobile web, while only 34% would rather download an app, according to Adobe’s first-ever mobile consumer survey, released October 13. This preference was found across all four categories study examined: consumer products and shopping, financial services, media and entertainment, and travel

“It was somewhat surprising — you’d think you would want an app experience because it often offers a richer experience, like desktop software,” said Sheila Dahlgren, senior director of product marketing at Adobe. “But users are only going to download so many applications.”

Dahlgren added that apps tend to be popular for specific tasks, such as looking for directions or social networking, researching or shopping, but for activities like researching or shopping, consumers tend to prefer looking outside the application.

The survey, conducted by Keynote Services with results based on the responses of 1,200 consumers, found that accessing maps and directions is the top mobile activity, with 81% citing it. This was followed by social networking (76%), accessing local information (73%) and reading news (68%).

Additionally, 38% of respondents reported not having purchased anything in the consumer products and shopping category in the past six months, pointing to potential opportunities for mobile marketers.

The study looked at behaviors across various demographics, finding that males 30-to 49-years-old were the most active consumers and mobile purchasers. It also found that men generally spend more than women, with 31% having spent $499 or more through their mobile device within the past year, compared to just 23% of women who did so. But while men spent more time than women on financial and travel content, more women accessed social media than men.

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