The more and the less of iPhone apps


You may remember our discussion some time ago about the kind of snotty remark a TV executive might make with regard to our new media habits: where do people find the time? The answer was always to do with the choices people make about what to do with their “cognitive surplus” or “free time” (!). In short, if you spend an hour a day playing Doom, you spend one less hour per day watching Corrie. Or something.

Some hard data is starting to appear, which makes it clear that once people spend £800-900 on an iPhone+contract, they spend a lot of time touchy-feeling it and playing with their apps. Apps = entertainment, and (yet) another use for that cognitive surplus.

You can read about it on All Things Digital, where there’s a helpful infographic. Although we can be sceptical about some of these numbers, what they show is that – as the article says – people are beginning to think more about their apps and less about their TVs, newspapers, and books. Or even their old desktop or laptop computer. The iPhone, remember, is more powerful than a 1999 laptop computer.

So if you’re in the media business, the implications here are clear — shoving your stuff in a browser won’t do you much good in a mobile world defined by apps. And the smarter media executives I know are scrambling to keep adapt.