Android Usage: By the Nielsen Numbers

Android users: why do we refer to your smartphones as phones? Seems like hardly anyone uses them to make a phone call.

I learned that and a whole lot more about Android usage from Nielsen’s latest usage report the ratings research company presented at the Android Developers Conference, or AnDevCon, in Burlingame, California.

Don Kellogg, director of research and insights for the telecom practice at Nielsen, walked through all the results, which he admitted are both exciting and depressing for developers.

Some highlights about Android mobile phone users:

  • The top 10 apps in the Android Marketplace are used during 34 percent of the phone’s active time.
  • People spend 53 percent of the phone’s active time with the top 50 apps. The hundreds of thousands of other apps are vying for the other 47 percent of users’ phone time.
  • 61 percent of users say ratings and reviews on Android apps are extremely to very important.
  • 43 percent of all devices are running Android.
  • Owners of Motorola phones tend to be more affluent. This may have to do with the phones mostly being on the Verizon network, which tends to have a higher demographic profile. But iPhone users have a higher income: some 39 percent of folks who have an iPhone claim they make more than $100,000 year.
  • 66 percent of people discover apps through the Android Marketplace.
  • Communications apps deliver high frequency while games deliver high duration.
  • Not all categories are created equally. People are more willing to pay for game apps than food or news apps.
  • The list of top selling apps is the second most popular way people search for apps.

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