We got into mobile app development at the beginning of the game because we knew they were going to be the wave of the future. A few short years later, we can definitely say this: “The future is now.”
As every mobile app developer knows, mobile apps are becoming more and more dominant with every passing year. They have increased exponentially since the first smartphones came out. While exponential increases are no longer mathematically possible, mobile apps are still becoming more and more of a market force every day.
Recently, Interactive Advertising Bureau Australia (IAB Australia) and Nielsen released some numbers that are going to be a major eye-opener for those who haven’t already realised the profound impact mobile apps are having on smartphone use.
The key takeaway: Australians spend nearly ten times as long on mobile apps as they do on mobile Internet browsers. The numbers: an average of 33:08 per month on apps as opposed to 3:56 on internet browsers.
Smartphones are now used more for accessing the Internet than home computers or tablets are, with nearly 36 monthly hours of connection time via smartphone compared to slightly less than 26 monthly hours of connection on a PC or a tablet.
By far, the app with the highest market share is Facebook, finishing #1 in Australia for unique audience. The #2 app was Facebook Messenger. Facebook was also the second most visited mobile site via mobile Internet browser. Obviously, Facebook is huge right now.
According to IAB Australia and Nielsen, 39% of smartphone use in Australia was for social media. Entertainment finished second with 15% and gaming finished third at 12%.
The only metric in which smartphones didn’t beat desktops and laptops, according to a July study IAB Australia, was in the amount of time their respective users spend on their devices every day. Smartphone users spend an average of one hour and 46 minutes per day using their smartphones, while those with computers spend an average of slightly over three hours a day.
The disparity in these numbers is because a lot more people own smartphones than computers and/or tablets.
What It Means to Mobile App Development
On this site, we try to do two things on a regular basis: keep you up to date on news in the app creation business and tell you why it is relevant to you as a mobile app developer. While the raw numbers aren’t overwhelming in their scope, there are some key takeaways that we find extremely relevant to our industry.
The most obvious takeaway here is that more and more people are using their smartphones as valuable life enhancement tools on a daily basis. Our industry has evolved incredibly since the first true smartphone in 1996, which incorporated what were then called “smart phones” and PDA’s, or Personal Digital Assistants.
The real revolution in smartphones, though, started in January of 2007 when Apple released the first iPhone with touchscreen capabilities. In April of that year, Microsoft Windows released a smartphone and were able to capture 18% of the smartphone market. In November of 2008, the first Android phone was released: the G1, but its touchscreen capabilities were elementary compared to iOS. In December of that year, Microsoft gave up because they were unable to compete with Apple and Android.
In 2010, 24% of adult Australians had smartphones. By 2014, that number rose to 89%, with 60% owning a tablet. The statistics were derived via surveys, so their accuracy is subject to regional and social disparity. However, relative to each other, the growth ratio is valid.
The main message here: almost everyone has a smartphone now and they are being used more and more every day as they become a more ubiquitous part of daily life.
The Mobile App Developer has a Huge Market Now
There are somewhere around 19 million adults in Australia right now. If you are only making an app for Australians, you would have about 17 million potential customers. The number of worldwide smartphone users is expected to surpass 2 billion in 2016. That is a lot of smartphones. All waiting for you to solve a problem for them.
If you have a great idea for an app, use the menu bar at the top to contact us or call 0417 150 796. It could be the best call you ever make.