Major Survey Shows Mobile Apps Now Account For 50% Of Mobile Data Usage

A comprehensive survey conducted by Finnish mobile analytics company, Zokem, shows native mobile applications on smartphones now account for half of total mobile data volume.

The study/survey, which took place from 2009 to 2010 and analyzed over 10,000 smartphone users and over of 6.5 million smartphone app-usage sessions in 16 countries, said that while mobile browsers are still the most popular consumer of mobile data, apps are quickly catching up.  Data indicates that as mobile apps continue to flourish, mobile browsers will move into second place very soon.  The report said mobile Web usage accounted for nearly 80% of mobile data volume only a few years ago, showing just how strongly apps are coming on with consumers.

According to data from the survey, people tend to open their mobile Web browser at least once a month, and yet amass about 300 minutes per month collecting data.   On the social networking front, of which a lot of mobile data is consumed, Facebook is engaged by 12% of smartphone owners, yet racks up 188 minutes of total usage time.  Twitter, however, which only 4% of smartphone owners engage with, amasses a much higher 311 minutes of total usage time.

In the end, the study shows that while mobile browsers see more usage, mobile apps consume more data.  “App stores, combined with a variety of non-browser based data applications pre-embedded in today’s smartphones, are now driving the growth of the mobile Internet,” said Dr. Hannu Verkasalo, executive chairman of Zokem.  “There is still a lot of usage inside the Web browser.  However, as mobile consumption patterns get richer, and people learn to require more and more functionalities, the native applications in most cases provide the best user experience.   Take your Android phone as an example; do you want to access YouTube with your browser if you have a shortcut on your home screen for the brilliantly working native YouTube app?”