Every month, smartphone users spend an average of 30.25 hours on 26.8 apps

smartphone app usage

It’s good to be a popular smartphone app. According to the latest Nielsen report, on average, a smartphone user is accessing 26.8 apps every month for about 30.25 hours. That’s 65 percent more than two years ago:

In Q4 2013, they spent 30 hours, 15 minutes using apps, a full half-day more than 18 hours, 18 minutes in Q4 2011. The average number of apps used per month, however, only increased slightly from 23.2 in Q4 2011 to 26.5 during the same period in 2012 and 26.8 apps per month in Q4 2013.

Not surprisingly, the highest amount of time spent on apps goes to the young age group in the survey: 18- to 24-year-olds. They spent approximately 37 hours and six minutes while those older than 55 spent only 21 hours and 21 minutes.

Search, social and entertainment apps dominate the hours spent on mobile devices. At the bottom of the list are photography and finance apps, but photography apps experienced the most growth in usage from Q4 2012 to Q4 2013.

smartphone app usage smartphone app usage


Given the growth of app hours spent by users, developers should focus on making and developing great apps — not just more apps. There does appear to be a limited number of apps users can access each month, and making mediocre apps will only ensure that it will be a “zombie app” in the app store – another app that doesn’t get noticed.