With news coming out of Barcelona — and the industry in general — being focused heavily on mobile apps, Bango has released some interesting stats related to mobile Web usage, proving that while apps are indeed a rapidly growing segment, the mobile browser remains the most important app on any mobile device.
Over the last 12 months, Bango has been analyzing traffic to a range of mobile Websites by sampling across 50 million phone users worldwide who have accessed third party mobile sites through its platform. In the end, Bango realized a 600% growth in traffic, representing six times the amount of traffic recorded the previous 12-month period.
Interestingly, the average time on site was measured as 3 minutes, 21 seconds- averaged across user visits to all sites, compared with just over one and half minutes the previous year. The analysis also measured the average number of pages viewed per visit at 5 pages, up from just over 2 pages per visit twelve months before. These site-level figures have increased by an average of 230% compared to a year ago, with consumers visiting sites more frequently from their phones and browsing more pages over longer periods of time. The key categories for mobile browsing are news, sports and general media sites (including newspapers), mobile content downloads, social networking and retail sites.
Bango attributes the continued growth in mobile Web usage primarily to smartphone usage, with Blackberry accounting for over 17% of the mobile devices recorded across sites. The number of visits by BlackBerry users also exceeds any other device, including the iPhone. Factoring in the relative sales growth across the different smartphone brands the data suggests that iPhone browsing has, if anything, slightly declined per user measured, which could be a result of consumers being directed towards apps instead of websites.
Through its analysis, Bango also noted a steady increase in Wi-Fi usage as well, with Wi-Fi connections averaging 23% of all connections measured by Bango, with some rich media sites averaging one-third of all connections through Wi-Fi. This suggests that consumers are increasingly aware of Wi-Fi on mobile handsets and will connect via Wi-Fi where available, motivated by speed and perceived cost benefits. Sites that attract high percentages of Wi-Fi connected users include those that broadcast video, music and other streamed content.