It is quite understandable that with the growth of smartphones, mobile apps are reaching new levels each year. But what it is interesting in the growth story of apps is the changing behaviour and fresh choices of mobile users. Over the last year, users' interests have grown significantly towards apps in the shopping category, while the steepest decline in the growth of apps was seen in the lifestyle category, according to data provided by Yahoo-owned Flurry Analytics.
The annual global mobile and application usage study conducted by Flurry Analytics for 2017 highlights that compared to 2016, overall session app activity has been grown just six percent. Particularly, the Flurry State of Mobile 2017 defines app usage as a user opening an app and recording what's called a "session". Flurry says its app footprint grew to track more than one million apps across 2.6 billion devices globally over the last year.
Among others, app sessions for the apps in the shopping category grew by a massive 54 percent in the last one year. Flurry believes that the growth mainly highlights the shift in consumer spending pattern that is inclined towards e-commerce via mobile shopping apps. Likewise, digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are making things easier for users to pay directly through their mobile devices, the Flurry State of Mobile 2017 study finds.
After the shopping category, Flurry's study highlights the music, media, and entertainment app category that came in a close second with 43 percent year-over-year growth. Apps under the lifestyle category are, however, reported with negative 40 percent growth in 2017. The Flurry report also mentions that the gaming category saw another year of decline in sessions with negative 15 percent this year.
In addition to detailing the growth in app sessions, Flurry's study shows the changes in form factor adoption in 2017. The study shows that while the growth in the market of phablets (mobile devices with large-screen panels) is staggering 55 percent of active devices, 9 percent of medium phone users moved to phablet devices this year. However, the adoption of full-size tablets declined to 6 percent from the eight percent in 2016 and percent of small tablets adoption decreased to 4 percent from the previous 6 percent.
On the part of manufacturers, Apple dominates individual market share with 34 percent of all active devices in 2017, as per the Flurry report. This is notably lower than the 37 percent that was reported in 2016. Samsung comes second with the identical share of 28 percent between 2016 and 2017. Similarly, Chinese companies, including Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo, emerged amongst the top five manufacturers due to their faster adoption in the Asia Pacific and European markets.