Technology | Media | Telecommunications
Saturday, June 19, 2010
U.S. mobile phone service subscribers are finally becoming more sophisticated, like their counterparts in other more advanced mobile markets, using their smartphone applications (apps) at a higher rate.
eMarketer reports that according to the latest comScore study, the total number of mobile app users in the U.S. increased by 28 percent from April 2009 to April 2010.
Several app categories saw usage grow much faster. Social networking apps grew their user base by 240 percent during the period, to more than 14.5 million mobile users. Other categories gaining in user adoption include weather apps -- at more than 18 million and maps at about 16.8 million.
Social networking is the fastest-growing mobile content category, relative to browser access -- with nearly 30 million mobile users visiting the sites through mobile browsers.
"Social networking is by far the fastest-growing mobile activity right now," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile.
The most-used app across nearly all smartphone operating systems also falls into the social networking category. The top social Website, Facebook, is entrenched as the most widely used app by owners of BlackBerrys, iPhones and other smartphones.
Only users of Google's Android operating system are more likely to use Google Maps than Facebook. See the above chart for examples of the top 5 mobile smartphone apps in the U.S. market, categorized by device operating system.
Other top apps across operating systems included offerings in the fast-growing and highly popular weather and maps categories.