The latest study into the expanding smartphone market and the habits of those with the latest generation of mobile phones has found that Android users now spend close to an hour a day using apps or surfing the mobile web.
The report by Nielsen* analysed the habits of consumers using the Android operating system which is now used on over half of all smartphones that are sold every quarter. The research found that the average Android user spends 56 minutes per day browsing the internet and using apps on their mobile device. Android users on average spend around 37 minutes per day using mobile applications while spending just 18 minutes per day using the mobile Web.
Interestingly, the report illustrates that 43% of all time spent on Android smartphones is occupied by the top 10 applications. The remaining 250,000 apps available in the Android Market compete to gain a share of the other 39% of the time users spend on applications.
Nielsen’s research seems to suggest that Android users are using their smartphones for a host of activities other than phone calls. The Android operating system is available on a wide range of handsets, including HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S2 and Sony Ericsson Xperia, which are ideally suited to playing games, watching video, reading books and accessing social networks.
The latest top ten applications available for Android include the hugely popular game Angry Birds, the number one social network Facebook, the e-book application Kindle and the universally popular YouTube and the resource Google Maps.
The trend amongst Android users does not appear to be unique. Mobile applications have become an increasingly popular feature of smartphones over the past couple of years with Apple recently announcing that it had exceeded 15 billion app downloads from its online store.
While Apple may be best known for mobile apps, BlackBerry, Android and other devices also have a huge range of apps available in their stores, as well as in those operated by mobile service providers.
Previous studies by Nielsen** highlighted that games have proven to be the most popular mobile application, indicating that 64% of mobile phone users have used their device to play a game. Across all smartphones Facebook, Google Maps and the Weather Channel remain the most popular applications.
The interesting challenge for content providers, brands and advertisers is how best to capitalise on the popularity of applications and the potential to gain market share and revenue. Whilst focusing on applications companies must also consider how best to incorporate the mobile web into their overall smartphone and tablet strategies.