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Most of Our Smartphone Time is Spent on Just 5% of Apps

The word ‘Smartphone’ means something that goes beyond the addiction. An average person checks his/ her phone more than 100 times a day. But out of so much time we dedicate to our smartphones, 85 percent is dedicated to apps.

But even that’s not the twist. That 85 percent of time – most of it gets dedicated to select 5 percent of apps.

This five percent will differ from one person to another because while some might like games and messaging, others might be devoting most of their smartphone minutes to social networking apps.

One of Nielsen’s recent research pointed out that consumers use no more than 27 apps a month. This research on the other hand, conducted by Forrester Research, gathered insights from 2,000 American smartphone consumers and shed light on the area where consumers like to spend most of their smartphone time.

As one would expect, social media and communication apps were the ones with most usage. Without taking into consideration, the voice calling and the text messages, most users spent 21 percent of their time minutes with their smartphones on these apps.


Of course this means only a few apps get most downloads and usage minutes. Facebook for instance has more than 1.25 active mobile users on monthly basis and accounts for nearly 13 percent of smartphone minutes trialed by Google (12). Twitter, one of leaders of social networking, has been listed under ‘major category leader’, along with other popular, but non-social apps.

In parts of the world other than United States, IP based messaging apps like WeChat, Kakao Talk and others consume up to 200 minutes per week. In US, an average user spends more time on native messaging apps and only 4.8 percent of time is dedicated to IM apps per day.


In terms of categories, video streaming and TV apps rank right after social networking with a total of 9%. YouTube is the leading app with 43% penetration but Netflix has better median use of more than 30 minutes.

Gaming and music are also popular apps among smartphone consumers with, each taking up 6% of a user’s time. Then there are popular media apps – particularly the sports, weather and news apps, which can take up to 12 minutes every day. Based on popularity of news among population, Apple is set to integrate news app with its upcoming iOS 9, which will be available across all its latest gadgets including iPhone 5S and iPhone 6.

Other user-favorite apps include navigation apps (6 percent), shopping apps which require 5 percent of time, email apps (4 percent), productivity apps requiring consuming 3 percent of total minutes and books and magazine apps which demand 2% of time.



The data only suggests that unless you are Facebook or a popular social media entity; concentrate on designing apps for only those who care. In other words, targeting plays the most crucial role here and only interested users will download and regularly use those apps.

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