One in two US mobile subscribers now has a smartphone, fueling the American appetite for apps, according to a Nielsen study. In the past year, the average number of apps on a smartphone has increased from 32 to 41, a 28 per cent jump, according to the research.
Despite some publishers abandoning native apps in favor of Web apps, Nielsen found that people are actually spending more time in apps than on the mobile Web. Last year, 73 per cent of the time was spent on apps, compared with 83 per cent this year. Nielsen did note earlier this year, that when it comes to shopping, people prefer websites instead of apps.
There was a slight increase in the amount of time spent on apps each day, from 37 minutes per day in 2001 to 39 minutes today. The top five apps continue to be Facebook, YouTube, Google Play (previously Android Market), Google Search, and Gmail. However, people are also experimenting with new apps. A year ago, users spent 74 per cent of their app time accessing the top 50 apps, compared with 58 per cent this year.
Increasing Smartphone Use, Privacy Concerns Remain
With smartphone penetration at more than 50 per cent, up from 38 per cent last year, Nielsen estimates the number of Android and iOS users has grown from 38 million in 2011 to 84 million today. The owners' gender split is approximately equal. According to earlier Nielsen estimates, Android has 48.5 per cent of the market, iOS has 32 per cent, and BlackBerry and Windows Mobile are fighting for the bottom of the league.
It also appears iPhone users are more proficient at downloading apps; 88 per cent of them have done so, while only 74 per cent of Android users download apps on their phones.
With app use on the rise, concerns over privacy have also gone up. Nielsen says the vast majority (73 per cent, a 3 per cent year-on-year increase) is expressing concerns over personal data collection, while 55 per cent are wary of sharing information about their location via smartphone apps.