The Consumer smartphone usage 2014: headline results

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Date: 27-Feb-2015
No. of pages: 41
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Studying the usage of smartphones in detail allows us to validate commonly held assumptions about usage with solid data – it also yields insights into the drivers of usage change.

Studying the usage of smartphones in detail allows us to validate commonly held assumptions about usage with solid data – it also yields insights into the drivers of usage change. Panellists used their smartphone for an average of 195 minutes per day in 2013 – around twice the amount that they used it in 2011.

This report analyses the smartphone usage of consumers in France, Germany, the UK and the USA in 3Q and 4Q 2013. The analysis is based on data provided by Nielsen, using an app developed by Arbitron Mobile.

This event-level data allows us to produce in-depth analysis of information including foreground app usage (‘face time’), data traffic (cellular and Wi-Fi), location (home, away and travelling), as well as voice and SMS usage.

This report presents the collected ‘headline’ findings from that research. Specifically, it presents information about:


  • the adoption of different smartphone models and the impact of this on how the devices are used

  • how LTE affects mobile data usage, the way that consumers use Wi-Fi, and the interaction of Wi-Fi and cellular data

  • the use of IP communications services and their relationship with traditional voice and messaging services

  • usage and adoption trends for digital economy apps with a particular focus on three categories: mobile commerce, mobile financial services and mobile health.


Geographical coverage

Data is provided for the following individual countries:


  • France

  • Germany

  • UK

  • USA

The Consumer smartphone usage 2014: headline results

Table of Contents

6.Executive summary
7.Consumers are changing the way that they engage with smartphones and screen size is significantly driving this change
8.Online video accounts for most of handset data use and both LTE and higher-specification devices will encourage greater use
9.Full service substitution of legacy services remains rare despite high penetration levels of IP communications apps
10.The adoption of digital economy apps has increased rapidly, reaching a level similar to that of the popular multimedia apps
11.Recommendations
12.Recommendations
13.The relationship between device specifications and app usage
14.Communication continues to be an important part of smartphone usage, but its role is diminishing to be replaced by digital economy services
15.Screen size affects app usage – large phones are used about twice as much as small phones
16.The relationship between the size of the device and the amount of cellular and Wi-Fi data that it generates is strong and clear
17.Mobile gaming is a key driver for increasing app usage on high-end smartphones
18.Mobile data usage: the role of 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi
19.Online video accounts for most handset data use, but gaming and messaging have relatively low data rates despite high usage
20.LTE users used their devices for 63% longer per day than average and generated 2.7 times as much cellular data traffic as non-LTE users
21.Handset traffic is, and will remain, predominantly carried over Wi-Fi
22.The vast majority of smartphone Wi-Fi traffic was generated in the home
23.Analysis of communication app usage and substitution
24.IP messaging services are growing rapidly – they have achieved mass adoption in Germany, and the UK is set to follow
25.WhatsApp and the ‘social messaging’ apps are rivalling Facebook in terms of user engagement
26.Full service substitution of legacy services remains rare despite high penetration levels of IP communications apps
27.Mobile operators are not equally affected by communication app adoption
28.The digital economy, commerce and mobile banking
29.The adoption of digital economy apps has increased quickly in the past 2 years, reaching a level similar to that of the popular multimedia apps
30.The barriers to entry into the app development market are lower than previously, which is driving local mobile commerce app development
31.The adoption of mobile banking apps has risen from 8% of our panel to 44% in 2 years, thanks to a strong industry push
32.Methodology and panel information
33.Methodology and definitions [1]
34.Methodology and definitions [2]
35.About the authors and Analysys Mason
36.About the authors [1]
37.About the authors [2]
38.About Analysys Mason
39.Research from Analysys Mason
40.Consulting from Analysys Mason

List of Figures

Figure 1: Average daily app usage by app category, 2011 and 2013 (2011: n = 1079; 2013: n = 1596)
Figure 2: Key app sub-categories by average percentage of time and average percentage of data traffic (n= 1588)
Figure 3: Time spent using IP messaging apps as a proportion of overall time spent using messaging services (including SMS/MMS) (n = 1153)
Figure 4: Penetration of apps by category, and corresponding growth between 2011 and 2013 (2011: n = 1079; 2013: n = 1596)
Figure 5: Average daily app usage by app category, 2011 and 2013 (2011: n = 1079; 2013: n = 1596)
Figure 6: Median app usage and number of apps used per panellist, by smartphone screen size (n = 1596)
Figure 7: Median data usage by network type and smartphone screen size (n = 1588)
Figure 8: Average app usage by category, by device models for Apple and Samsung (n = 795)
Figure 9: Top-10 apps by handset traffic (n = 1588)
Figure 10: Key app sub-categories by average percentage of time and average percentage of data traffic (n=1588)
Figure 11: Average MoU by app category for panellists (n = 1588)
Figure 12: Distribution of total smartphone traffic across all panellists (n = 1588)
Figure 13: Panellists who connected to Wi-Fi by category of hotspot and the average amount of their total cellular data usage attributable to that category, Android users (n = 1211)
Figure 14: Penetration of social networking and communication apps (excluding email), by country (n = 1596)
Figure 15: Penetration of IP message apps, by age and country (n = 1596)
Figure 16: Average daily usage of selected communications and social networking apps (n = 1596)
Figure 17: Time spent using IP messaging apps as a proportion of overall time spent using messaging services (including SMS/MMS) (n = 1153)
Figure 18: Penetration of IP messaging services, by network operator and country (n = 1447)
Figure 19: Penetration of VoIP services, by network operator and country (n = 1447)
Figure 20: Penetration of apps by category, and corresponding growth between 2011 and 2013 (2011: n = 1079; 2013: n = 1596)
Figure 21: Commerce apps used by panellists, by type of app (n = 1398)
Figure 22: Penetration and average app usage by mobile financial services app type (n = 1596)
Figure 23: Panellists’ gender, by country of observation
Figure 24: Panellists’ age, by country of observation
Figure 25: Panellists’ handset OS, by country of observation

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