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With 81% of Americans now owning smartphones, most of us can be said to be living an ‘appy’ life. Mobile apps have completely overtaken our lives, and we all know how. But what we may not know is the jaw-dropping rate at which they are flooding our phones. A whopping 194 billion* apps were downloaded globally by smartphone users in 2018, a 35% jump from 2016.

So, where do Americans stand in this app downloading spree? It turns out, they are completely enamored with apps, and to such an extent that today, America is one of the top 5 markets in the world for app downloads. Piplsay (powered by Market Cube) dug deep to find out the trends that are defining this new-age phenomenon, and this is what we found*.

Close to 50% of Americans have downloaded over 20 apps on their phones in the last few months. This means most people should have over 50 apps on their phones at any given point in time if one were also to consider previously downloaded apps, as well as the ones that come pre-installed in smartphones. But despite having so many apps, a majority of Americans use only about 5-10 of them every day. Two reasons for this huge number of downloads is the unlimited storage space in smartphones today, as well as consumers’ desire to get the best of what is on offer - be it social media presence, better shopping discounts or different gaming experiences. Often, word-of-mouth is a great influencer for app downloads, with people trusting their peers with recommendations.

Social media and communication apps, no doubt are the most popular ones, with Facebook, Messenger, YouTube, and Instagram being some of the most downloaded. Mobile gaming is becoming bigger than ever, with gaming apps even zooming past shopping and entertainment apps to hold a comfortable lead. Mobile gaming has become a key segment of late, not just because of the sheer size and diversity of its users, but also in terms of the time and money they spend on it. Given the top two choices, it is no surprise, then, that a majority of Americans spend over 4 hours on mobile apps each day, with those in the age group of 18-34 years leading the way. Also, women seem to spend more time on social media and shopping apps as compared to men, who prefer entertainment and news apps more.

The craze for mobile apps is so huge, that about 60% of Americans download new apps at least once every month, with about one-third of them downloading them almost every week. The frequency, however, comes down when it comes to deleting old apps, with a majority of them uninstalling apps just once or twice a year. Also, not many Americans like paying for app subscriptions or upgrades. But when they do spend, it’s mostly on paid gaming apps, with a focus on premium content and in-app purchases.

Mobile apps became a reality only a decade ago, and already, they have become an indispensable part of our lives. However, what we are seeing is just the beginning, with AI and AR (augmented reality) expected to jazz up the app world for a brand new makeover.

Source: PRNewswire ; *Based on 22,800 online responses

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