Smartphones Generate Majority of Mobile Browser, App Use

October 5, 2010

The number of smartphone users accessing mobile content through browsers and applications now surpasses that of non-smartphone users, according to new MobiLens data from comScore.

Smartphone Users Rapidly Increase Browser, App Use
In August 2010, 75.6 million mobile subscribers ages 13 and older used downloaded applications, with Smartphone users representing 60.4%, up 38.5% from 43.6% in August 2009. For the same period, 80.8 million mobile subscribers used their browser, with smartphone subscribers comprising 55.5%, up 34% from 41.4% a year ago.

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Making this rapid growth more impressive is the fact that smartphones still make up less than a quarter of the U.S. mobile market, according to comScore.

Female, Youth Smartphone Markets Boom
In August 2010, males accounted for 56% of smartphone subscribers who used downloaded applications or browsers. Females, however, are narrowing the gap with the remaining 44%, representing a 14.3% increase compared to 38.5% in the corresponding August 2009 period.

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Among the various age segments, 13-to-17-year-olds are exhibiting the strongest growth in using downloaded apps or browsers, up 25.4% from 5.5% to 6.9% of the audience. Persons ages 18-24 are also accelerating adopters of app/browser usage, representing 16.7 percent of the audience, a 3.7% increase from 16.1% a year ago.

Search, Weather, Maps, SocNets Top Smartphone Content
Weather, maps and social networking represented the top content categories accessed through downloaded applications in August 2010, used by more than one-third of US smartphone subscribers. Social networking applications were used by 30%, while search and news applications were used by 18%.

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Search was the most popular category accessed through browsers, reaching 54% of the smartphone audience. Forty-three percent of smartphone subscribers accessed social networking sites via browser, followed by news (40%), weather (36%) and sports information (32%).

Nielsen: Games Leading Mobile Apps
Games are the most-downloaded mobile application among both smartphone and feature phone users, according to different mobile app data from The Nielsen Company. 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 in August 2010. Weather apps are the next most popular category, downloaded by 55% of smartphone users and 39% of feature phone users.

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