Top 5 Activities for Mobile Users in the U.S.

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Mobile owners are using their smartphones to use downloaded apps more than to browse the web, according to a new study by comScore. The study found that out of the 234 million mobile subscribers in the US in May 2012,  51.1% used downloaded apps compared to the 49.8% who used their phones to browse the web.

The most popular activity amongst mobile subscribers in the U.S. is sending text messages (74.8%) followed by using downloaded apps (51.1%). The third most popular activity is browsing the web (49.8%). Accessing social networks/blogs and playing games round out the top 5 activities for mobile users with 36.7% and 33.5% respectively.

In February 2012, there was little difference between app usage and web browsing – 49.5% and 49.2%, respectively; however, in three months, while web browsing only grew 0.06%, app usage grew 1.6%. This increase can be attributed to the growing popularity of apps, as well as the growing number of smartphone owners. In three months, the number of smartphone owners grew 5% to 110 million people in the U.S. with Google Android the most popular smartphone platform with 50.1% market share.

Interestingly, in another study conducted by UK-based O2 focused solely on smartphone owners, they found that the most popular activity is browsing the Internet with the average smartphone user spending about 25 minutes every day browsing the web. The second most popular activity is checking social networks, followed by playing games, and then listening to music. Making phone calls is the fifth most popular activity.

A great way to describe smartphones is as David Johnson, General Manager Devices for O2, explained: “Smartphones are now being used like a digital “Swiss Army Knife”, replacing possessions like watches, cameras, books and even laptops. While we’re seeing no let-up in the number of calls customers make or the amount of time they spend speaking on their phones, their phone now plays a far greater role in all aspects of their lives.”

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