Smartphone Users’ App Time Highly Concentrated

August 25, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Connected Device Comparisons | Digital | Household Income | Mobile Phone | Tablet | Youth & Gen X

comScore-Smartphone-App-Consumption-by-Usage-Rank-Aug2014Mobile applications crossed a threshold in May, accounting for the majority of digital media time spent in the US, per recent comScore data. A new report [download page] from comScore indicates that mobile’s share of digital consumption continues to grow, with apps hogging more mobile time on smartphones (88% share) than tablets (82%). Interestingly, though, the study reveals that smartphone app users spend most of their app time with a limited number of apps.

In fact, during June, US adults spent an average of 42% of their smartphone app time with their single most-used app, and an additional 17% of their app time with their second-most used app. Overall, they spent three-quarters of their total app time with just 4 top-used apps.

As with app consumption, the number of app downloads per smartphone user is highly concentrated. During the second quarter, only 34.5% of adult smartphone users downloaded at least one app per month, with this group downloading three per month on average. Drilling down even further, the report notes that the top 7% of smartphone owners accounted for almost half of all download activity in a typical month. It appears they’re spending most of their time with a select few of those apps… (A recent study from Flurry suggests that “mobile app addicts” around the world launch an app at least once every 16 minutes during their waking hours.)

Meanwhile, in other data indicating that smartphone users are more app-reliant than tablet users, comScore reports that in June, 57% of smartphone users accessed apps every single day of the month, more than twice the proportion (26%) of tablet users accessing apps with that frequency.

Turning to a platform comparison, the report shows that although Android Phones boasted more adult app users than iPhones in June (76.1 million and 62.6 million, respectively), iPhone users spent more time on average in apps during the month (64 hours vs. 55 hours). On a demographic basis, while the distribution of iPhone users was more tilted towards the 18-24 bracket (20% of users) than for Android Phones (16% of users), the median user age of each was 40. And despite the relative similarity in age breakouts, iPhone users sported a considerably higher median income than Android Phone users ($85,000 and $61,000, respectively.)

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