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Study: Apps aren't helping smartphone sales

Mobile applications are certainly changing the way consumers interact with their smartphones, but those programs don't appear to be driving sales.

iPhone 4
CBS Interactive

Apps don't appear to be helping companies sell more smartphones, a study from international accounting and consulting firm Deloitte suggests.

According to the study, which surveyed 1,960 people between the ages of 14 and 75 in June and July, 58 percent of consumers say a smartphone's size, quality, keyboard style, and price factor into their smartphone buying decisions. Just 18 percent of respondents said that mobile applications influence which smartphone they eventually decide to buy.

Deloitte also found that when consumers finally get a smartphone, just 65 percent of them download and use mobile applications.

However, those who are using mobile apps are changing the way they interact with technology. Deloitte said that 42 percent of mobile app users "have reduced or completely eliminated their use of MP3 players." The firm also found that 38 percent of respondents listen to the radio very little, if at all.

Deloitte's findings might also be a wake-up call to Nintendo and Sony. The firm found that 30 percent of respondents are ditching their handheld gaming devices in favor of a smartphone.

Such erosion in gaming market share for Sony's PSP and the Nintendo DS has been occurring for quite some time. Earlier this year, Flurry Analytics released a study, claiming Apple's iOS nearly quadrupled its gaming market share from 5 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, Sony's PSP market share declined to 11 percent in 2009 from 20 percent in 2008. Nintendo's DS, which dominates the portable gaming space, also saw its market share decline from 75 percent in 2008 to 70 percent in 2009.

Simply put, smartphones are starting to affect several industries. And Deloitte believes that will only continue going forward.

"While the market for mobile apps is still in its infancy, once consumers get a taste, they appear to start using those apps for all aspects of their digital lives," Deloitte's vice chairman and technology sector leader, Phil Asmundson, said in a statement accompanying the survey.