Applications dominate how content and data services are used on the iPhone and those apps are primarily used in the evening and on the weekend. In the first hourly study of iPhone app analytics data, Localytics reports that mobile app usage in the US and Canada peaked at 9:00 pm EST during the week and maintained peak usage throughout weekend afternoons and nights.
Localytics provides a mobile analytics solution that gives iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry application publishers real-time analytics and the deepest insights into how customers use their apps. Publishers can dynamically segment any metric by any other metric and chart the results with hourly granularity.
For the first in a series of reports, Localytics mined its iPhone analytics data for the US and Canada over the past two months to understand iPhone mobile app usage by day of the week and hour of the day. To adjust for differences in overall usage, the total sessions per hour were normalized as a percentage of the busiest hour for each day of the week. Comparisons were made between devices, application categories, days of the week and hours of the day.
iPhone Still More Personal than Professional
iPhone app usage on weekends and weekdays is both different in usage patterns and overall scale. iPhone users generate 7% more traffic on the weekend than the average weekday. Saturday traffic ramps quickly from a morning low at 6:00 am to over 90% of peak usage by 11:00 am—and stays near the peak for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
By comparison, weekday app usage is more concentrated in the evening with a slow ramp during the working day and a peak at 9:00 pm EST, when East Coast users are at home and West Coast users are commuting home.
Reviewing these results, Localytics concludes that while the iPhone may be making professional inroads, it continues to be a personal device most heavily used outside of working hours. For publishers preparing their mobile app strategies for either professional or personal apps, these results offer important insights into app design, market segmentation and advertising and promotional optimization.
Implications for the Apple iPad
An obvious question is what, if anything, iPhone app patterns imply for the success of Apple’s iPad? Heavy weeknight and weekend app usage on the iPhone suggests that consumers are already reaching for devices that are smaller and more convenient than their desktops and laptops to entertain themselves, plan a trip, check sports scores and listen to music. If the iPad can build on these usage patterns and help bring more applications to even more people, then Apple might create yet another blockbuster category.
In following reports, Localytics will review the mobile app categories that are driving usage on different days and different hours.