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Consumer smartphone usage: key findings from an on-device tracker


Only 64% of respondents used both Wi-Fi and cellular data on their smartphone during our two-month study
Almost all smartphones are Wi-Fi-capable. While 75% of our smartphone panel used Wi-Fi in August and September 2011, 82% of the panel used cellular data. Most panellists used both networks (64%), but a number of consumers did not use cellular data (18%) and presumably either own the smartphone mainly for the sake of having a sleek shiny device, or use it with a non-data contract or on a prepaid basis, relying on Wi-Fi (or in some cases nothing at all) for data connectivity. Wi-Fi presents both an opportunity and a threat to operators. It helps to mitigate traffic growth that would otherwise increasingly overload the cellular network in busy areas, leading to reduced quality of experience. However, if the Wi-Fi connection is not controlled by the operator then there is a risk of disintermediation operators have less of an incentive to subsidise a device that is also used on competitors networks.
Figure 13: Distribution of smartphone panellists, by type of data connectivity [Source: Analysys Mason and Arbitron Mobile, 2012]1 Smartphone users who do not use data (7%)

Smartphone users with cellular data enabled (82%)

Wi-Fi only (11%)

Smartphone users that use both cellular and Wi-Fi (64%)

Cellular only (18%)

From the consumer point of view, Wi-Fi often enables Internet access at higher speeds and a lower price point than cellular data services. The speed difference will probably be mitigated to some extent by LTE. However, Wi-Fi is an extra drain on the device battery, and consumers sometimes perceive it to be difficult to configure.

Smartphone users with Wi-Fi enabled (75%)


All smartphone users (100%)

n = 1007; some respondents may have had cellular or Wi-Fi enabled but did not use the connectivity within the observation period.

Analysys Mason Limited 2012

Consumer smartphone usage: key findings from an on-device tracker


The success of an app distribution strategy is driven by quality of experience, rather than simply by offering a wide choice of apps
According to our estimates, Google Play (for Android users) and Apples App Store account for about 90% of all app downloads on smartphones. Industry players have assumed that these application stores dominate the market because they have extensive app catalogues. Our research shows this factor may not be as important as industry players believe. Our on-device measurement data shows that the penetration for each long-tail app those outside the top-25 apps (by number of users) is less than 10% for all smartphone types, with very little differences between each OS. However, a clear distinction can be seen between OSs when it comes to the level of usage for apps outside the top-25 apps (by usage); Android and iOS are clearly leading the pack. This indicates that the long-tail app market has very little impact on BlackBerry and Symbian devices, regardless of how big the app catalogue is. Therefore, the quality of the devices and the app experience they provide is more important than the size of the app catalogue as long as the most popular apps are available. Having a long-tail app market brings added value to a smartphone model and is likely to influence the purchase decision. However, the lets offer many apps and users will come argument does not hold.

Figure 41: Penetration of top 50 add-on apps by operating system [Source: Analysys Mason and Arbitron Mobile, 2012] 1 90% 80% 70% 60% Android 50% iOS 40% BlackBerry OS 30% Symbian 20% 10% 0% 1 5 9 13 17 21 25 29 33 37 41 45 49 Figure 42: Face-time value by operating system for the top 100 apps [Source: Analysys Mason and Arbitron Mobile, 2012] 1 10.000
Face-time value (minutes per day)
1.000 Android iOS

Percentage of panellists

0.010 0.001

BlackBerry OS Symbian
1 8 15 22 29 36 43 50 57 64 71 78 85 92 99

n = 1079; at least 15 days of observed activity in the panel

Analysys Mason Limited 2012