Report: On Mobile Devices, Apps Rule Compared to Mobile Browsers

report on mobile devices

When consumers are looking for information on your brand, it is more likely to be on a phone or tablet, instead of a PC. The mobile device is king. At least that’s according to a report released recently by a mobile analytics firm which concluded that mobile device usage is on the rise.

The firm which compiled the report, Flurry, says that the average US consumer spends 2 hours and 42 minutes a day on a mobile device (compared to 2 hours and 38 minutes a year ago), and that amount of time continues to increase. It was only a few years ago that mobile browsing was seen as a fad. Now it is in full command of the room and taking no prisoners.

But there’s another conclusion from this report that is even more interesting… and surprising.  And that is the solid dominance of apps over the mobile Web. For the average U.S. consumer,  86% of their time was spent using apps on a mobile device — or 2 hours and 19 minutes a day. Now compare that to usage of the mobile Web (i.e., what the report refers to as using a mobile browser).  Consumers spent just 14% of their time (22 minutes a day) browsing mobile websites versus using an app.

apps dominate mobile

One fact which seems to be borne out by all of these statistics is that the main casualty seems to be the browser. If you want to do something on a mobile device, the phrase “there’s an app for that” is truer than it has ever been.

Think of it this way — if you have a smartphone device, when was the last time you actually used a browser for something? Email – app.  Online banking – app. RSS feeds – app. Even Google has its own app.

It leads you to wonder:  Is the browser fast becoming an ancient dinosaur in the world of mobile?

So what’s the lesson to take away from this? At the very least, make sure that your website is mobile-optimized. But what would be even better is if you were able to have an app professionally designed for your business. Then you would be capturing a chunk of that 86%.

As Flurry said on their blog last year, “it’s an app world – the Web just lives in it”. You can thank Steve Jobs for that.

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Mark O'Neill Mark O'Neill is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering software and social media. He is a freelance journalist who has been writing for over 25 years, and has successfully made the leap from newspapers and radio onto the Internet. From 2007-2013, he was the Managing Editor of