Overall Smartphone Engagement in the US Drop by 40% Since Jan 2015!

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Advent of on-the-move devices and their computing capabilities have increased dependencies among users in a big way, demanding higher share of time being spent on them. Increased tech savviness, improved user experience and growing awareness across demographics are some of the major driving factors behind rising smartphone usage. Thus, in this week’s InfoFlash, we decided to look into the overall engagement trends across markets.

As per our on-device-meter, majority of the markets that we track showed incremental time spent with their devices. Brazil along with other Latin American markets like Argentina and Mexico experienced higher growth in comparison, while the US observed a decline of whooping 40% in overall engagement this January as against same month last year.

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Mobile Gaming in the US declines over the last one year!

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Playing games today is not restricted to TV, PCs or gaming consoles with Smartphones also emerging as one of the most preferred devices. The revenues generated by these gaming apps is huge and is only growing day by day. According to a latest report, the mobile gaming industry generated a revenue of $29 billion in 2015 and is estimated to reach $49 billion by 2018. With so much happening in the mobile gaming space, we decided to compare usage of gaming apps in the last year. While the revenue seems to be roaring up, the usage of gaming apps has decreased as per our ODM meter data.

Our on device mobile measurement data reveals that the Reach as well as engagement on games played on Smartphones decreased in the last year. From around 17 hours per month, the time spent on mobile games has come down to 14. While Candy Crush Saga is still the top game played, its Reach dropped to 8% from 13% in last Jan.

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Will the tech-transformation feature help PayPal app to further strengthen its position in the US?

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Worldwide mobile payment apps gained popularity for its convenience of making transactions on go. Factors such as reliability, network speed, security of online transactions were the major concerns at initial level. However, with time the mobile payment app providers have perfected these issues with addition of valuable features to establish momentum in the market. Likewise, PayPal, one of the frontrunner in this category, recently declared to reintroduce Near Field Communication (NFC) technology sometime in the middle of 2016 to add more ease in consumer experience. This tap-and-pay technology to pay bills at checkout register of stores is becoming more popular among shoppers.

Since PayPal leads the mobile payment app usage in the US, in this week’s InfoFlash, we decided to look at the demographic penetration of the app. Our ODM data reveals that close to one-fifth of the total Android Smartphone users in the country access the app on their phones. Age wise, Reach is relatively higher amongst 25 to 35 year olds while no significance variance is seen in the penetration figures across gender.

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Penetration for Mobile Coupon apps highest amongst 25-35 year olds & Females

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Since it is the digital age, more and more people these days are going the mobile friendly way when it comes to using coupons. Smartphone users from the US are using their smart devices more while they are shopping and as a result, mobile coupon usage is growing. With just a few taps, people today can save money versus the old way where they would have to give the printed coupon to the cashier and hold up the line in process. As per a recent report, the number of users who used at least one mobile coupon in 2015 grew by 18%. These figures are expected to grow further considering the ease in the usage of mobile coupons.

Our this week’s InfoFlash reveals that in US, one out of every two Smartphone user access at least one mobile coupon app on his/her phone. A comparison across demographics reveal that the category Reach is highest amongst users aged 25-35 year olds and Females. Ibotta and Shopkick are the most popular apps accessed.

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Social Networking Apps or Chat Apps – What’s Your Pick?

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We live in the world of apps, you name any brand or service and you multiple apps available in the App Store. Available today are apps for almost every service or need and the list is never ending. However, the two widely popular app genres that attracts users spanning all the demographics – age, gender, geographies are Social Networking apps and Chat & VoIP apps.

Both these app genres over past few years have managed to attract users and keep them glued to their phones. With this as a background, we have put together a multi country snapshot to understand which genre amongst the two is more popular in terms of attracting a heavier usage.

Our ODM data shows that in most of the markets, Chat & VoIP shows higher engagement. However, in markets such as US, Algeria, Philippines and Australia, Social Networking apps dominate the usage.

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Smartphone users from the US most engaged on Streaming Video content

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In the last couple of years, digital video consumption has grown leaps and bound globally. A recent report from eMarketer reveals that 2016 would be a benchmark year for digital video usage with more than half of the US population expected to watch TV shows online at least once a month. Another report projects online video consumption to spur data traffic on Smartphones by 50% in the next couple of years. Considering the increase in Smartphone subscriptions globally and the availability of 4G/LTE connections, these projections don’t seem to be far-fetched.

A look at our this week’s InfoFlash highlights how engaged users across markets are on streaming video content on their Smartphones. Our ODM data reveals that watching videos online is most prominent amongst users from the US. Thailand and Brazil follow next while India, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Africa are least engaged.

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Will Skype’s Recently Launched Group Video Calling Feature Lift Its Reach?

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Early this month Skype announced launch of its free of cost group calling facility on smartphones across all platforms. As per various online reports, players like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are also exploring several additional features to command more user attention. With so much happening in and around OTT chat & VOIP services, it would be interesting to see if this additional feature from Skype helps them increase penetration and gain more users.

In this week’s edition of Infoflash, we decided to have a look at Skype across various markets. As per our On-Device-Meter data, Skype is most popular in Philippines followed by Australia and South Africa. In the US, 1 out of every 10 users uses Skype services.

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Google or Facebook : Who won the battle of digital space at the end of the year 2015?

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The consumer technology industry is one of the most happening battlegrounds for showing tech wizardry for any start-up or established player. Google and Facebook are two giant rulers with many products in their portfolio which are now part of the lives of people worldwide in multiple dimensions. Both the companies have been long engaged in the process of mergers and acquisitions of other tech companies which are either selling unique stellar idea(s) or instrumental to add associated values in supply chain of product development.

In this week’s Infoflash, we reviewed the year end performance of the most popular products from these two biggest names in US, ruling the world of Android apps. As per our ODM data, among all the products of Google, Google Chrome is the busiest browser while nearly all android Smartphone users access Google Play Store for app download. Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube are other successful products across different genres.

Within Social Networking, Facebook app has no near competition in terms of popularity and engagement. Within Chat category, reach of Facebook Messenger is at a higher side with respect to WhatsApp Messenger, another well known chat app from Facebook. Instagram enjoys leadership among Image apps.

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4 out of 10 users in US access Amazon App!

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Last year’s holiday season was a happy one for retailers in the US. According to a report released by MasterCard, retail sales in the US rose to 7.9% this year. Shopping on mobiles too saw a huge growth in November and December. With shopping as the theme, we decided to check the penetration of Shopping apps in the 2nd half of last year and the most used retail apps in the last month.

Our on device measurement data reveals that Shopping apps had a reach of 60% in the month of December’15. Amazon topped the list with the 4 out of 10 users accessing it. Amazon was followed by Walmart and eBay.

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Cellular Data Consumption Surges in the Year 2015

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Last few years have witnessed growth in cellular data traffic which can be traced back to many factors such as increased proliferation of Smartphones, faster Internet connectivity on cellular networks etc. In the wake of 3G and 4G services, there has been a further boost in cellular data consumption across regions. Though data consumption is a function of many factors such as pricing, infrastructure of telecom providers, penetration of wired broadband services and also the smartphones (LTE capable Smartphone devices) themselves, still across regions data consumption sees an upward trend.

A look at our ODM data spanning last 11 months of the year 2015 reveals that Malaysia followed by India has recorded maximum growth in cellular data consumption. We see a double digit growth in most markets. At the same time cellular data consumption per user is highest in the US followed by Thailand and Indonesia.

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