During the three-month average ending April 2012, 33.1% of US mobile subscribers played games on their mobile device, up about 4% from 31.8% during the three-month average ending January 2012, according to comScore Mobile Metrix data. comScore figures indicate that other mobile activities also saw an increase in subscriber engagement from the prior three-month period, including use of downloaded applications, which increased 3.3% from 48.6% to 50.2% of the mobile audience, and listening to music, which grew 5.3% from 24.5% to 25.8% of subscribers.
Texting remained the most common activity, used by 74.1% of US mobile subscribers, down slightly from 74.6% the previous 3-month period. Other popular activities included browser use (49%) and accessing of social networking sites or blogs (36%).
Game-Playing Rises 26% Y-O-Y
The rise in popularity of mobile gaming is more pronounced when looking at historical comScore figures. For example, 6 months ago, comScore reported that for the 3-month period ending in October 2011, 29.2% of mobile subscribers were playing games. A full year ago, only 26.8% of mobile subscribers were playing games on their devices, meaning that this year’s 33.1% represents 26% growth.
Similarly, listening to music on mobile phones has become more popular. The 25.8% of the mobile audience listening to music in the 3-month period ending in April 2012 is a jump from 21.2% in October 2011 and 18% in April 2011.
Apple Gains on LG
For the 3-month average period ending in April 2012, 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices. Apple saw the strongest gain for the period, up 12.5% to 14.4% share of subscribers. With LG losing 0.5% points to 19.2% share, the two OEMs are now separated by less than 5% points. Just one year ago, that gap was 12.6% points (see link above).
Samsung retained its top spot, inching up 0.5% points to 25.9%. Motorola dropped more than 5% of its share to 12.5%, and HTC lost more than 6% of its share, down to 6%.
Android Retains Majority Share of Smartphone Market
Google’s share of the US smartphone market (primarily representing the Android platform) rose 4.5% between the 3 months ending January 2012 and the 3 months ending April 2012, increasing to 50.8% in that time period. This was a slight drop from 51% for the 3-month period ending in March, but means that Google continues to keep the majority share it first took in the 3 months ending February 2012.
Apple rose 6.4% to 31.4% share of the smartphone market for the 3-month period ending in April. Google and Apple both gained at the expense of RIM, which dropped almost 24% to 12.3% share, Microsoft, which dropped 0.4% points to 4%, and Symbian, which dipped by 0.2% points to 1.3%.
General US smartphone ownership grew to 107 million in April 2012, up 6% compared to January, and more than 43% from 74.6 million a year earlier.
About the Data: MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of more than 30,000 US mobile subscribers age 13 and older. 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.