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30+ Mobile Phone Usage Statistics and Trends

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Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of life. From communication to entertainment and shopping, they play a significant role in our daily activities. 

But what are the numbers saying?

I did the research and came up with the latest mobile phone usage via demographic, advertising, and shopping statistics.

Get ahead of the curve with the latest data.

Top 8 Mobile Phone Usage Statistics (Editor’s Pick)

  • There were 5.22 billion mobile phone users globally in 2021.
  • US adults using mobile phones will hit 253.3 million in 2023.
  • Most mobile phone users in the United States will use Google as their preferred search engine in 2023.
  • Global mobile app downloads rose by around 10.8% from 2021 to 2022.
  • Subway Surfers had the most daily active users among iPhone gaming apps globally in 2022.
  • There were 6,259 million smartphone subscriptions globally in 2021.
  • In 2021, the average American spent 4 hours and 23 minutes daily on their mobile phones.
  • Retail m-commerce sales totaled $359.32 billion in 2021.

Infographic

top mobile usage statistics
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Mobile Phone Usage Statistics

1. 76% of smartphone users admitted using their devices for messaging and conversation in a 2022 survey.

About 70% of respondents in the same study said they sent emails using their mobile phones. 61% of respondents also said they use their mobile devices to access online banking.

2. There were 5.22 billion mobile phone users globally in 2021.

This number is equivalent to 66.6% of the world’s population. Europeans had the highest number of mobile phone users, with 86% in 2020, and are expected to hit an 87% penetration rate by 2025.

3. US adults using mobile phones will hit 253.3 million in 2023.

The number of US adults using mobile phones was expected to reach 250.7 million in 2022.

4. Mobile phone users spend more time with apps than browsers.

Mobile phone users used their apps for 3 hours and 14 minutes in 2021, rising to 3 hours and 22 minutes daily in 2022. This time is expected to grow to 3 hours and 28 minutes daily in 2023.

In contrast, daily usage of mobile browsers will remain constant in H1 2022 at 52 minutes before declining to 51 minutes in 2023.

5. The Philippines recorded the highest daily time spent on smartphones globally in 2021.

The Philippines spent 5 hours 47 minutes daily on smartphones in Q3 2021. 

The table below shows the top 5 countries with the highest time spent daily on smartphones.

Country Time Spent Daily on Smartphone
Philippines 5 hours 47 minutes
Thailand 5 hours 28 minutes
Brazil 5 hours 25 minutes
Colombia/South Africa 5 hours 9 minutes
Argentina 5 hours 4 minutes

6. Mobile internet users are expected to hit 303.62 million in 2026.

A rise to 287.5 million is expected in 2023 before growing to 292.03 million in 2024. By 2025, it is anticipated that the number will reach 296.18 million and 300.02 million in 2026.

7. 51.8% used their mobile phones to access social media because of boredom in 2021.

18.6% used their smartphones to access social media due to curiosity

Whereas another 16% accessed social media to look for information.

Mobile Phone Demographic Use Statistics

8. In 2021, the average American spent 4 hours and 23 minutes daily on their mobile phones.

This excludes the time spent talking on the phone and equates to 30 hours and 41 minutes of weekly mobile phone usage. By 2023, it is predicted to be approximately 4 hours and 35 minutes daily usage.

9. More than half of South African internet users made video calls using their mobile phones (monthly) in 2022.

54.2% of internet users in South Africa made video calls monthly using their mobile phones in 2022. The Philippines came second with 53.7%, and Nigeria was third with 53.2%.

Below is a table showing the top 10 countries with the percentage of their internet users who made video calls monthly in 2022.

Country Internet Users Making Video Calls (%)
South Africa 54.2%
Philippines 53.7%
Nigeria 53.2%
Vietnam 44.6%
Kenya 44%
United Arabs Emirates 44%
Indonesia 43.3%
Colombia 42.4%
India 41%
Brazil 40.2%

10. In 2021, Americans checked their phones 344 times on average daily.

This data shows that the average American checks their phone once in 4 minutes.

11. Everyone in the United States aged 18 to 49 owned a cellphone in 2021.

Of those aged 18 to 29, 96% had smartphones, and 4% had cell phones but not smartphones. Of those aged 30 to 49, 95% had smartphones, and 5% had cell phones but not smartphones. Among those aged 65 and more, 29% had cell phones but not smartphones.

us adults who own a cellphone
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Mobile Phone Search Statistics

12. Most mobile phone users will use Google as their preferred search engine in 2023.

In January 2023, Google had a 93.99% market share of mobile search engine usage. Other popular mobile search engines as of January 2023 are shown in the table below:

Search Engine Search Percentage
Google 93.99%
Yahoo 3.11%
Other 1.93%
Bing 0.35%
Naver 0.34%
Yandex 0.28%

13. In Q1 2021, the mobile share of organic search engine visits in the United States hit 59%.

The percentage rose to 61% in Q2 2021 before hitting 64% in Q3 2021

By Q4 2021, the mobile share of organic search engine visits in the US had dropped to 63%.

14. Most mobile phone users in the United States will use Google as their preferred search engine in 2023.

Google had a 95.89% mobile search market share in the USA as of January 2023. Yahoo grabbed the second spot with 1.23%, and DuckDuckGo secured the third position with 1.09%.

15. Google got the highest mobile search ad clicks in the United States in 2021.

Google got 70% of mobile search ad clicks, while 26% went to Microsoft Advertising.

Mobile Phone Downloads Statistics

16. In Q4 2021, worldwide mobile app downloads reached 36.1 billion.

This data shows a 2.7% YoY increase. Among the top categories on Google Play for the quarter were Tools and Finance, with yearly growth rates of 39% and 26%, respectively.

17. TikTok was the most downloaded mobile app globally in 2022.

TikTok mobile app hit 672 million downloads in 2022, followed by Instagram with 548 million mobile app downloads. WhatsApp came third with 424 million downloads globally.

18. Global mobile app downloads rose by around 10.8% from 2021 to 2022.

As of 2021, the total mobile app downloads hit 230 billion and rose by 25 billion (10.8%) to reach 255 billion in 2022.

Mobile Phone Advertising Statistics

19. US mobile advertising expenditure is expected to hit $463.6 billion in 2026.

The table below shows mobile advertising expenditure from 2021 and how it is predicted to rise till 2026.

Year Expenditure (Billion)
2021 $262.5
2022 $313.4
2023 $355.1
2024 $393.4
2025 $429.6
2026 $463.6

Mobile Phone Shopping Statistics

20. More than half of internet users shop using their mobile phones in 2023.

As of January 2023, 50.9% of internet users shopped through their phones at least once a week.

21. Female mobile phone users aged 35 to 44 are the likeliest to shop using their phones.

2023 data shows that 56.8% of females aged 35-44 made a mobile device-based online purchase in the previous week. In contrast, 52.4% of the males in the same age bracket also shop using their phones, compared to 46.6% of male phone users aged 16 to 24.

22. Retail m-commerce sales totaled $359.32 billion in 2021.

The amount represented a 15.2% increase from 2020 figures. Retail m-commerce sales are anticipated to double in the US by 2025 to $728.28 billion, equivalent to 44.2% of US retail e-commerce sales.

Mobile Phone Subscription Statistics

23. There were 6,259 million smartphone subscriptions globally in 2021.

It is predicted that the number will rise to 6,841 million smartphone subscriptions in 2023.

An upward trajectory projection to 7,074 million in 2024 and 7,296 million in 2025 are equally expected. By 2027, smartphone subscribers are anticipated to hit 7,690 million globally.

global smartphone subscriptions
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Mobile Phone Gaming Statistics

24. Subway Surfers had the most daily active users among iPhone gaming apps globally in 2022.

Subway Surfers had over 2 million daily active users on iPhones by June 2022, followed by ROBLOX, with 1.7 million.

The below table shows the top 10 iPhone gaming apps (as of July 2022) with their daily active users:

iPhone Gaming Apps Number of Daily Active Users
Subway Surfers 2,112,164
ROBLOX 1,777,463
3D Online Pool 1,332,978
Candy Crush Saga 935,422
Clash Royale 758,071
Clash of Clans 709,614
PUBG MOBILE 580,578
Hay Day 550,985
Minecraft 534,214
Fishdom 491,208

25. “Garena Free Fire” was the most downloaded mobile gaming app in February 2022.

In February 2022 alone, Garena Free Fire had 21.8 million downloads

41% of its downloads were from India and 9.4% from Brazil.

26. In February 2022, there were 4.4 billion mobile game downloads across the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

This data indicates a 0.7% YoY increase. India led the charge with nearly 670 million installs or around 15% of all worldwide downloads. The United States came in second with 8.7% of all downloads, and Brazil grabbed the third position with a 7.8% share.

27. There were over 2.6 billion mobile gaming users globally in 2021.

Asia had the highest mobile gaming participants (over 1.2 billion), accounting for almost half of the global value. The table below shows other regions with the highest number of mobile gaming users as of 2021:

Region Number of Mobile Gaming Users (million)
Asia 1293.6
Europe 551.7
Latin America 309.2
North America 207.7
MENA 145.8
Sub-Sahara Africa 126.2
Oceania 25.3

28. Gaming apps were the most popular section on the Google Play Store in 2022.

Q1 2022 data shows that gaming apps accounted for 13.63% of the total apps in Google Play Store. Educational apps followed them with a 10.41% share, and business apps came third with 7.17%.

29. Gaming apps had the most significant share of the Apple App Store in 2022.

12.68% of all the apps in the Apple App Store were gaming apps

Next up was business apps, with 10.35% of the pie, while educational apps grabbed the third spot with 9.79%.

30. Users spent 16.7 minutes daily on mobile gaming apps globally in 2021.

As of March 2021, only social media apps managed higher daily engagement times, surpassing 55.48 minutes.

Other Mobile Phone Usage Statistics

31. 41.6% of the e-mails in 2021 were opened on mobile devices.

In Q3 2021, 38.2% of the total emails were opened on Apple iPhone (iOS Mail), and 2.1% were opened on Android devices.

32. In 2022, mobile accounted for over half of all web traffic globally.

In Q1 2022, mobile phones accounted for 55.79% of global internet traffic

It rose to 58.99% in Q2 2022 and 59.54% in Q3 2022 before dropping to 59.16% in Q4 2022.

33. People aged 18 to 24 had the highest monthly Android mobile app usage in 2021.

Android mobile phone users aged 18 to 24 spent 112.6 hours monthly using apps. 

Those aged 25 to 34 spent 102.4 hours on their Android apps, and users in the 35 to 44 years bracket engaged their apps for 93.6 hours. Mobile users aged 65 and more spent 51.4 hours using Android apps.

android mobile app monthly engagement
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34. Chinese users spent the highest amount of time on Android mobile apps globally in 2021.

Chinese users spent 1,182 billion hours on mobile applications in 2021, followed by Indian users with 669 billion hours. The USA took the third spot with 194 hours spent on mobile applications in 2021.

Stay Mobile!

Stay up-to-date on the mobile phone revolution.

These usage statistics and trends provide a picture of the current state of the mobile world, spanning demography to advertising and shopping. It also shows the impact mobile phones have on people’s daily lives and the direction of the industry.

Also, stay alert when using your phone to avoid malicious links online, and learn more about phishing statistics, facts, and trends globally.

References:
  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1337895/top-smartphone-activities/
  2. https://www.post.lu/en/business/blog/articles/tendances-trucs-et-astuces/tendances/le-mobile-present-dans-nos-vies
  3. https://www.insiderintelligence.com/insights/mobile-users-smartphone-usage/
  4. https://explodingtopics.com/blog/smartphone-usage-stats
  5. https://www.statista.com/statistics/275591/number-of-mobile-internet-user-in-usa/
  6. https://explodingtopics.com/blog/smartphone-usage-stats#smartphone-use-projections
  7. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1045353/mobile-device-daily-usage-time-in-the-us/
  8. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1254884/mobile-video-calling-reach-by-region/
  9. https://www.reviews.org/mobile/cell-phone-addiction/
  10. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/
  11. https://www.similarweb.com/engines/worldwide/mobile-phone/
  12. https://www.statista.com/statistics/297137/mobile-share-of-us-organic-search-engine-visits/
  13. https://www.similarweb.com/engines/united-states/mobile-phone/
  14. https://www.statista.com/statistics/223308/trend-in-impressions-on-google-and-bing-in-the-us/
  15. https://sensortower.com/blog/q4-2021-data-digest
  16. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1285960/top-downloaded-mobile-apps-worldwide/
  17. https://www.statista.com/statistics/271644/worldwide-free-and-paid-mobile-app-store-downloads/
  18. https://www.amity.co/blog/mobile-app-usage-statistics-to-grow-your-user-engagement
  19. https://www.statista.com/statistics/271644/worldwide-free-and-paid-mobile-app-store-downloads/
  20. https://www.oberlo.com/blog/mobile-usage-statistics
  21. https://www.statista.com/statistics/303817/mobile-internet-advertising-revenue-worldwide/
  22. https://www.oberlo.com/blog/mobile-usage-statistics
  23. https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/mobile-commerce-future-trends
  24. https://www.oberlo.com/blog/mobile-usage-statistics
  25. https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/
  26. https://www.statista.com/statistics/760275/5g-mobile-subscriptions-worldwide/
  27. https://playtoday.co/blog/stats/mobile-gaming-demographics/#2.6%20billion
  28. https://www.statista.com/statistics/505625/leading-mobile-games-by-dau/
  29. https://sensortower.com/blog/top-mobile-games-worldwide-february-2022-by-downloads
  30. https://www.statista.com/statistics/512112/number-mobile-gamers-world-by-region/
  31. https://www.emizentech.com/blog/google-play-store-statistics.html
  32. https://www.statista.com/statistics/270291/popular-categories-in-the-app-store/
  33. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1272800/worldwide-mobile-apps-time-spent-daily/
  34. https://sensortower.com/blog/top-mobile-games-worldwide-february-2022-by-downloads
  35. https://www.litmus.com/blog/email-client-market-share-august-2021/
  36. https://www.emizentech.com/blog/google-play-store-statistics.html
  37. https://www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices/
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