App and mobile device usage statistics 2016: No.1

Mobile device take up 2016

Smartphones are getting bigger

We Are Apps regularly produces a Mobile Insights Report that covers the ways mobile devices and apps are being used in the UK. From January 2016 we are going to switch the format so that we’ll blog the statistics on a more regular basis than an annual report. Bookmark this page and check-in regularly for more updates on app and mobile device usage.

There are clear signs that our more portable mobile devices (i.e. smartphones like the iPhone) are getting larger, not just in actual screen size but in popularity too.

According to Flurry, one of the leading app analytics platforms, increasingly we are taking to the larger screen format for pocket devices and we are buying fewer tablets as a result.

Whereas, back in 2013, only 4% of new device sold during the Christmas period could be classed as ‘phablets’ now they account for 27% of mobile sales. The data comes from tracking 780,000 app titles, mainly across the iOS and Android operating systems.

Naturally Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 6 Plus stimulated a lot of demand. The most remarkable statistic however was that more than half of all Android devices bought was a phablet. The introduction of the iPhone 6 also meant that Apple pretty convincingly won the battle of the brands, with Apple taking 49.1% of all sales during the period 19th to 25th December 2015.

Unfortunately (as we quite like their phones) Nokia were the big losers, dropping from 5.8% share at the same time in 2014 to just 2% this time round, most of which can be accounted for by Samsung’s new models, including the S6.

It’s still some time off before mobile UI designers can start optimising for the larger screens first, but it looks like the people we design for, the user, is going big, not small.