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Survey Shows Cultural Preferences in Mobile Phone Apps

Posted July. 13, 2010 12:42,   


In the mobile phone market, Koreans are interested in facial appearance, Germans Sudoku and French their own language.

The Dong-A Ilbo conducted a survey on the 10 most popular smartphone applications in Korea, Germany, France and the U.K. The study’s results were based on the number of downloads using Samsung Apps.

Since smartphone use is dependent on the kinds of applications, an examination of popular applications shows the latest trends and features in mobile phone use. Samsung Electronics sell free and fee-based applications in a number of languages in 81 countries where it exports its smartphones, including the Galaxy S.

According to SK Telecom, the average number of daily downloads at its T Store, where Samsung applications run in the form of “shop in shop,” was 215,000 Monday, up almost three-fold from 75,000 June 23. From June 23 to July 4, the most downloaded Samsung applications on smartphones was “Face Reading,” “Asphalt 5 WCG (a car racing game),” “Fair Match (game),” “Seoul Transportation (traffic information),” and “ARoo ARoo (store search).”

Face Reading saw some 30,000 downloads after just a week of release. A remote server identifies the face of a person photographed by a smartphone camera, makes an analysis via software, and gives information on money and luck in marriage.

The application “Youngest Face Battle,” which identifies the youngest looking person among faces analyzed, was ranked ninth.

Korea was the sole country where facial appearance applications were among the top 10 downloads. Kim Dae-seong, director at Olaworks, a company which invented the face reading application, said, “The success of such applications lies behind our understanding of recent trends among Korean consumers, who care a lot about appearance. We are considering developing an application featuring the face after undergoing plastic surgery.”

The top-ranked application Asphalt 5 is a car racing game officially selected as this year’s official mobile game by World Cyber Games, the world’s biggest global cyber game competition.

Game scores are registered with the World Cyber Games and enables players to participate in the competition. A Samsung source said, “The popularity of this game appears to have coincided with domestic users’ preference for playing score-oriented competition games.”

Germany, France and the U.K. saw soccer games rank in their top 10 lists, reflecting the popularity of the World Cup. The application “South Africa 2010,” which features data on this year’s tournament, games and players, ranked eighth in Germany.

“Sudoku Solver,” based on the number puzzle originating in Japan in the 1980s, ranked seventh. Germany was the only country of the four surveyed to have Sudoku listed in the top 10, and is known to have around 12 million enthusiasts.

The French showed high preference for French language-exclusive applications in a global applications market where English prevails. While Germany had no applications in German ranked in the top 10, France had three: third-place “Test QI (IQ test),” the French version of Wikipedia (seventh), and the game “Blagues De Merde (eighth).

This reflects France’s cultural tradition of requiring the use of French in the public sector.