Mobile App Downloading Surpasses Browser Use

January 4, 2012

comscore-mobile-content-usage-aug11-v-nov11-jan12.gifDuring the three-month average ending November 2011, 44.9% of US mobile subscribers used downloaded applications on their mobile device, up about 8% from 41.6% during the three-month average ending August 2011, according to comScore Mobile Metrix data. For the period, downloaded applications overtook browsers, which were used by 44.4% of subscribers (up 5% from 42.1%). Texting remained the most common activity, used by 72.6% of US mobile subscribers, up 3% from 70.5%.

According to a November 2011 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, half of all adult cell owners are now equipped with apps on their phones, representing a 16% increase from the 43% of US adult cell phone owners who had an app on their phone in May 2010.

Meanwhile, comScore figures indicate that other mobile activities also saw an increase in subscriber engagement from the prior three-month period, including accessing of social networking sites or blogs, which increased 7% from 30.9% to 33% of mobile subscribers, and game-playing, which was done by 29.7% of the mobile audience (up 4% from 28.5%). Furthermore, 21.7% of mobile subscribers listened to music on their phones (up 5% from 20.7% the prior period).

Apple Closes In On Motorola

For the three-month average period ending in November, 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.6% of US mobile subscribers (up 1% from 25.3%), followed by LG with 20.5% share.

While Apple improved its position at number four with 11.2% share of mobile subscribers (up 14% from 9.8%), Motorola dropped from 14% to 13.7% share, meaning that the gap between the two, which previously stood at 4.2% points, is now just 2.5% points. RIM rounded out the top five with 6.5% share, down 8% from 7.1%.

Google Picks Up Market Share

comscore-share-of-smartphone-market-by-platform-aug11-v-nov11-jan12.gifIn total, 91 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in November 2011, up 8% from the preceding three-month period. Google Android strengthened its ranking as the top smartphone platform with 46.9% market share, up 7% from 43.8%. Apple also grew its share, reaching 28.7% of the smartphone market, up 5% from 27.3% in the prior reporting period.

RIM continued to fall, ranking third with 16.6% share (down 16% from 19.7%), followed by Microsoft (5.2%) and Symbian (1.5%).

RIM Share Halves in One Year

In addition to having lost market share from the previous three-month period, historical comScore data shows that RIM’s market share of smartphone subscribers has plummeted over the past year. In fact, RIM’s latest market share of 16.6% is less than half what it was for the three-month period ending November 2010 (33.5%). Microsoft has experienced a similar decline, falling from 9% to 5.2%. By contrast, Google has risen from 26% share to 46.9% over the same time period, resulting in 80% year-over-year growth.

About the Data: MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and above. Data on mobile phone usage refers to a respondent’s primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondent’s secondary device.

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