New Mobile App Usage Data from ComScore's 2015 Digital Future Study

Posted by Matt Milloway on Apr 29, 2015

ComScore’s most recent “Digital Future in Focus” report for 2015 reveals a number of key finding from the leading internet researcher’s annual study of digital media usage. As in previous years, mobile apps and internet usage—often in tandem—play a major factor in how people around the world interact with digital media. The following excerpts and reactions from the report are the most relevant for companies and organizations interested in developing or maintaining an engaging mobile app:

"The digital media pie continues to get bigger and Americans engage with screens during more occasions throughout the day than ever before."

Few people argue the fact mobile usage is prevalent today. Confirmation this usage not only continues to grow in terms of population, but is occurring more frequently throughout the day, serves to give anyone considering a mobile application for the first time the peace of mind their investment is smart and will be even smarter in the future as figures continue to rise.

"Mobile-only internet usage is also becoming more prevalent, driven largely by the 21 percent of Millennials who are no longer using desktop computers to go online. Meanwhile, the 55-years-and- older consumer segment is actually the fastest growing faction of mobile users, increasing its combined multi-platform and mobile-only share of audience from 60 percent to 74 percent in the past year."

These new trends in mobile-only internet point to increased reliance on mobile apps to access information in both younger and older generations. The findings related to the former demographic are far from surprisingly, but still solidify what many in the industry already know: the younger generation and those who will make up the majority of app users in the decades to come are becoming more and more reliant on their mobile devices to do everything from paying bills to connecting with family and friends.

The fact older consumers represent the fastest growing faction of mobile users means less and less people are adverse to going mobile. Companies and organizations considering a mobile app are able to worry less about the shrinking portion of their targeted audience who are unwilling to use mobile as opposed to the traditional desktop experience or paper material. 

"For the past few years, U.S. smartphone penetration has been growing at approximately 10 percentage points a year and reached 75 percent penetration of the mobile user base at the end of 2014. Although the growth in smartphone penetration has begun to see modest evidence of deceleration, at the end of 2014 it was still growing at an annual rate of 16 percent."

The vast majority of mobile users own a smartphone and are able to take advantage of mobile applications to access content on the go, giving companies and organizations the peace of mind their audience will be able to take advantage of the investment.

iOS and Android have officially solidified their stranglehold on the smartphone market with a combined 95 percent market share in terms of installed base. While Android maintains the majority at 53 percent, iPhones are not far behind at 42 percent. With the vast majority of apps now being developed only for these two platforms, it becomes increasingly difficult for other platforms to regain a foothold in the U.S. market.

Operating systems like Blackberry used to make up a notable portion of smartphone use, yet recent years have seen usage consolidated almost exclusively between iOS and Android. Mobile app developers need to make both available as a native offering and ideally a mobile web application for the small percentage of other users. Developing native apps for other mobile operating systems, however, is seldom cost effective for any party involved unless a larger company or organization makes available a certain phone to employees.

For more details about mobile app usage and to discuss AppBurst's mobile app solutions for iPhone, iPad, and Android: