While there is no question that advancements in HTML5 are making web apps more and more viable on smartphones, the distribution model adopted by Apple, Google and others currently favors native apps. By and large, app stores guide the discovery process for mobile content and utilities, driving downloads of free and paid mobile apps.

The richness of content on the web is being ported to the mobile browser at a tremendous rate in terms of both volume and proficiency. The mobile versions of Google’s web apps increasingly approximate the usability and functionality of their own native apps. One may wonder where the market stands between the two delivery mechanisms and the rates at which both types of apps — native and web — are consumed.
Appsfire is very much focused on app discovery, so naturally we have a keen interest in the answers to these questions. Our latest research and findings are presented in this infographic.

The result will please all appficionados: native apps dominate web apps. Owners of iOS devices typically spend only 10% of their time in a mobile browser. This encompasses both mobile web apps and regular web browsing, so usage of veritable mobile web apps is actually significantly less than 10%. This is in stark contrast to the figure of 50% time spent in native apps, not including the default mail app and other typical telephony apps (mostly default, or pre-installed apps, but also including Skype).

Further results of our study:
  • The median iOS user installs 88 apps to accompany the 20 pre-installed on the device.
  • The market for paid apps is quite healthy: 23% of apps on a device are paid apps.
  • Games account for much of native app usage: 32% of time spent for native apps (not including telephony or mail) is for games.

The conclusion: Consumption and demand for native apps are as strong as ever. “Apps everywhere”…we told you so.


  • smokes

    ofcourse on iPhone users use apps more than browser..

    on PC on the other had web-apps is the future..
    just look at Chrome’s web store..

  • csharpfritz

    Your study is dripping with so much bias, I can’t believe that the media is including this.

    You’ve surveyed 1000 devices in an ecosystem that IN YOUR OWN GRAPHIC has more than 160M users. You do realize that is a ROUNDING error… the statistical insignificance of your survey is mind-boggling.

    Let’s consider the audience that you surveyed: They had to INSTALL YOUR APP to be counted in the survey. You are surveying people who searched the app store for your application, for how many applications they have installed. How many device users who prefer to use web-apps would be installing your app? My guess is zero…

    Get back to us when you have some real information.

  • wildcatherder

    csharpfritz is so dead on. Tech news will print ANYTHING about Apple. Self-selection of an insignificant fraction of users is just bad science. Would you believe a survey about heart attacks where the cohort self-selected by seeking out and registering on a website? No way.

  • AppsFire Team

    hold on guys. we re not a market study company but we ve been observing the market and crossed our data with many public sources, it is quite obvious our base in not representing 160m iOS but 1000 sample is way more than what many institute are using and our data is consistent over time but also with outside sources.

    So you got real information. I am sure you can use your sense of judgement to make the right conclusion

  • apps review

    infographic is an nice tool ,,,whole lot of information is being presented in one graph,,,,theres a good comparision between the ios app and web app,,,,

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