BERLIN: Over a third of smartphone owners in Germany have paid for apps, indicating this channel is becoming an increasingly viable source of revenue, new figures show.

BITKOM, the trade body, commissioned Forsa, the research firm, to poll 1,004 people, and as a result reported that 38% of the smartphone audience had purchased at least one app to date.

A further 45% only added free apps to these gadgets, while 17% had not downloaded any such tools beyond those already installed on their handset.

The total user base for smartphone apps was estimated to stand at 21m people in all, equating to 83% of current device owners.

"Apps are a major reason for the smartphone boom," Tobias Arns, of BITKOM, said. "Many of them make everyday life easier, whether in the office or simply for leisure."

BITKOM's study also stated that exactly 33% of the smartphone population bought apps "now and then", while another 5% "regularly" did so.

The typical expenditure on such tools among members of these two groups stood at €21, with €7.64 the greatest amount they proved willing to spend for a single app, on average.

"Many paid apps add useful features like office programmes, navigation systems or a baby monitor to a smartphone for just a few euros," said Arns. "As a result they often replace expensive additional equipment."

Elsewhere, the analysis revealed that smartphone users generally invested €14 per year on gaming apps, although the highest charge they would pay for one such offering was €2.31.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff