More than 23 billion apps were downloaded in 2011 alone, a number that could be as high as 32 billion this year. As app downloads continue to grow, it has translated into a huge amount of percentage of mobile media minutes, with four out of every five now spent accessing data on an app, according to a new comScore report.
Among smartphone users age 18 and older, who accessed iOS, Android and RIM smartphones in March, Google sites were the most popular with nearly 94 million unique visitors, just below 97% of the mobile audience above the age of 18. In second place was Facebook, with 78 million visitors and 80% of users.
The study broke down total time spent on each property by browser and app. In nearly every case the vast majority of time spent was on an app, with 80% of media minutes being spent on an app rather than a browser.
For Facebook the split was 80-20 in favor of its app, and 81.1-18.9 for Google. In fact, every single site tracked on the study had the majority of its users time spent on an app, except for ESPN, whose split was 56.8-43.2 in favor of its browser site, and Microsoft, which saw 82.1% of its mobile time being spent on a browser and Wikimedia Foundation Sites, who only had only 0.2% of its mobile time on an app.
The only game to break the top 15 visited apps was Angry Birds, with over 25% of the entire smartphone userbase.
iOS vs Android
In an interesting part of the study, comScore measured the total unique visitors for apps and iOS and Android. Android saw over 53 million total unique visitors in March, compared to over 32 million for iOS.
Unsurprisingly, the top of each list was each device’s store, with Apple iTunes getting 99.9% reach and Android Market getting 93.2% reach. After that, the two systems diverge.
Facebook saw the third largest number of hits on iPhone, with 80% of users, while it reached less than 70% of Android users, coming in fifth. Still, Facebook for Android had over 10,000 more unique visitors than it did for iOS.
YouTube had roughly the same number of unique visitors on each system (around 25,000) but that represented a much larger share of the iOS audience, with over 78% viewing the video streaming site, but only around 46% of Android users.
Every one of the top apps on the Android platform beats its counterpart on iOS. A recent comScore study also found that the majority of U.S. smartphones are now on the Android platform, not very surprising when you realize that Android is available on a range of devices, while iOS is only found on Apple devices.
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