Games Leading Mobile Apps

September 9, 2010

Games are the most-downloaded mobile application among both smartphone and feature phone users, according to new data from The Nielsen Company.

Games, Weather Top Two Apps
Games continue to be the most popular category by far, with 61% of smartphone owners and 52% of feature phone owners reporting downloading a games app in the past 30 days. Weather apps are the next most popular category, downloaded by 55% of smartphone users and 39% of feature phone users.


Tastes Diverge Slightly
While smartphone and feature phone users both favor games and weather apps in that order, after the top two app categories, downloading habits of the two types of mobile phone users show some small differences. For example, music is the third-most-downloaded app by feature phone users (36%), followed by social networks (32%), and maps/search (30%). In contrast, maps/search is the third-most-downloaded app among smartphone users (50%), followed by social networking (49%). Music ranks fifth among smartphone users (42%).

In addition, while all categories of applications are more popular on smartphones than on feature phones, the difference is more pronounced in categories such as maps/search,where more computing power, larger screens and touch interfaces deliver a more satisfying experience.

Facebook Leading Individual Smartphone App
Facebook is the most popular individual app on all three of the major smartphone operating systems. Twitter is among the top five only on the BlackBerry, perhaps because the device’s physical keyboard is optimized for typing. And while YouTube is popular on Android and Windows Mobile, it doesn’t make the top five on either the iPhone or BlackBerry operating systems.


Average Number of Apps on Smartphones Rises
The average number of apps that smartphone app downloaders have on their phones is now 27, up from 22 in December 2009. Broken down by the three major operating systems (Apple’s iOS, Android and Blackberry), owners of iPhones have the most apps with an average of 40 on their phones, up from 37 last December, while Android owners report having 25 apps on their phones (up from 22 last December) and BlackBerry owners report having 14 (up from 10).

Mobile Twitter Use Explodes
Mobile usage of the Twitter social network has increased more than 60% in the past five months, according to data from Twitter. The total number of mobile Twitter users grew 62% between April and September 2010, according to statistics compiled by Twitter.

In addition, since that time, the number of Twitter users who start out using Twitter via mobile device has risen from 5% to 16%. Furthermore, close to half (46%) of all Twitter users at least occasionally access the network via mobile device.

About the Data: Findings based on an August 2010 survey of more than 4,000 mobile subscribers who reported having downloaded a mobile app in the past 30 days.


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