A study by Chitika of web browsing by time of day shows that smartphone and tablet usage in the US and Canada peaks at 9PM, whereas desktops reach their highest levels during the workday. The analysis, based on a sample of tens of millions of mobile and desktop-based online ad impressions within the network shows a strikingly similar pattern of usage between smartphones and tablets, though the peaks and valleys for tablet browsing are more pronounced than for smartphones. The findings support the perception of smartphones as being used more on-the-go than tablets, while also lending weight to recent research suggesting that smartphones are mostly used in the home. The study results align with research late last year from Jumptap, which found smartphone usage to be more constant throughout the day than tablet use,
Looking at some of the notable results, Chitika’s figures reveal that:
- Smartphones actually stay closer to peak volume during primetime hours (8PM to 11PM) than tablets.
- Smartphone web browsing remains above 40% of peak traffic volume in the early hours of the morning (between 3AM and 6AM), while tablet usage drops to about one-quarter of peak volume between 4 and 5AM.
- Smartphone usage increases rapidly during the morning hours to reach 91% of peak volume at 11AM, before falling again in the afternoon hours. While tablets show the same pattern, they reach a high of only 64% of peak volume at 11AM.