As the market shifts toward a smartphone-only environment, with now more than 50% of mobile users buying a smartphone, apps have become more central in this technology shift.
Nielsen released some data this morning that is showing how reliant people are becoming on apps, and their ability to personalize their smart device to manage their entertainment and lives with the swipe of a finger.
This new data compared smartphone users to see just where the app and smartphone shifts were occurring. Last year smartphones had only penetrated into 38% of the market, while this year 50.4% of respondents had a smart device.
Nielsen also found that Android and iOS usership had more than doubles from 38 million last year to 84 million this year -- a commanding growth spurt. And those Android and iOS users now account for 88% of those who have downloaded an app in the past 30 days.
In just a year, the average number of apps per smartphone has also grown 28%, from 32 apps per device to 41. With application stores across devices growing, and more companies marketing the benefits of using their business app rather than navigating via browser seems to be having a measurable effect.
This trend is also reflected in the fact that mobile users are spending more time using the apps that navigating through a browser service -- apps felt an 8% increase in time spend.
Some areas haven't changes over the last year, though. The Top Five Apps continue to be Facebook, YouTube, Android Market, Google Search, and Gmail. And smartphone owners appear to spend just about the same amount of time on apps each day (roughly 37 minutes a day in 2011 compared to 39 minutes today).
And it appears that people are still unsure of their privacy and safety on their smartphone, since Finally, 70% in 2011 and 73% in 2012 expressed concern over personal data collection and 55% were wary of sharing information about their location via smartphone apps.