We are definitely living in a mobile world. Two reports this week highlight the way we’re using our mobile devices, the mobile web and the apps we’re downloading.

Smartphones Taking Lead

According to a recent report by Nielsen Media, one in two mobile subscribers has a smartphone. Last year, only 40% of mobile subscribers in the U.S. had smartphones. All this sudden growth has led Nielsen to declare 2012 the year of the app. When Android and iOS users account for 88% of those who have downloaded an app in the past 30 days, it’s hard to argue.

The average number of apps per smartphone has increased 28% over the past year. It’s one thing to download apps, but it’s another to actually use them. Nielsen has also found that users are increasingly spending more time using them vs. using the mobile web -- about 10% more than last year.


Mobile Internet Use

For all the talk about native apps vs. mobile web, it looks like apps are winning. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse to sidestep the mobile web altogether. Almost two-thirds of UK smartphone owners (59%) gain access to the mobile Internet every day, according to Google’s Our Mobile Planet's research.

The report (and accompanying infographic) shows that 

  • 96% claiming to have researched a product or service on their phone
  • 57% conducting general searches every day
  • 89% of smartphone users notice mobile ads
  • 66% visit a business online or in-store after a local search.
  • 86% of people use their smartphone while consuming other media