mobile-apps2With people becoming more “attached” to their mobile devices, market researchers and analysts across the commercial value chain are poring over ever-growing reams of data for insights on consumer preferences and usage. The emergence and commercial promise of wearable devices has many speculating as to what types of mobile apps will prove most popular among mobile device users, as well as what types of mobile device users are effectively “wearing” their smartphones and tablets already.

Delving into this subject, mobile measurement and advertising platform provider Flurry Analytics zoomed in on consumer behavior associated with smartphones and tablets. Examining data spanning 500,000 apps and 1.3 billion devices as of March, Flurry decided to quantitatively define a “Mobile Addict” as a person who launches a mobile app more than 60 times a day, six times more than average.

Flurry Analytics also found that the Mobile Addict segment is the fastest growing of all mobile app users, increasing 123 percent between 2013 and 2014. There were 176 million Mobile Addicts as of March this year, up from 79 million in March, 2013, according to Flurry’s count.

The number of so-called “Super Users,” the second fastest growing market segment, grew 55 percent year-over-year, reaching 440 million, while the number of “Regular Users,” who launch apps 16 times per day or less, grew 23 percent to reach 784 million.

Drilling a bit deeper, Flurry Analytics found that 52 percent of Mobile Addicts were female, 48 percent male. That’s the reverse of the ratio of females to males among average mobile users, which came in at 48 percent to 52 percent. The 8-percent females over-index means that there are 15 million more female than male Mobile Addicts, which clearly has implications for mobile app developers, platform and content providers and advertisers, Flurry notes.

Turning to age, Flurry found that 13-17 year-olds (Teens), 18-24 year-olds (College Students) and those 35-54 (Middle Aged) over-indexed among Mobile Addicts, but only made up 20 percent of the average mobile consumer segment. Adults 25-34 and Seniors 55+ under-indexed among Mobile Addicts.

Looking to gain additional insights, Flurry Analytics also characterized mobile users’ “Flurry Personas.” Among females, “Moms,” “Parenting & Education,” “Gamers” and “Sports Fans” over-indexed among Mobile Addicts. Among male Mobile Addicts’ “Flurry Personas;” “Auto Enthusiasts,” “Parenting & Education,” “Gamers,” and “Catalogue Shoppers” over-indexed.

Hinting at the commercial implications of such data analysis, Flurry pointed out that “Auto Enthusiasts” make up 26 percent of male Mobile Addicts as compared to just 3 percent of average mobile consumers. Hence, male Mobile Addicts are much more likely to be “Auto Enthusiasts” than the average mobile consumer.

Flurry analysts weren’t surprised by the over-indexing of Teens and College Students in the Mobile Age segment. The over-indexing of Middle Age parents “by a margin that beats that of teens” came as a surprise,  however. That led the analysts to conclude that mobile devices are being shared by users in this age segment.

As Flurry states in its news release, “[T]hese middle-aged consumers are probably part of a family and their devices are likely shared among multiple family members, including their children.

“Males and females in the Middle Age segment both over-indexed on parenting and education. Males over-indexed as Catalogue Shoppers and females over-indexed on Sports. The picture we formed is a family of four, with two phones, one tablet, and all three devices shared by the family for education, entertainment and more utilitarian functions as well.”

Zooming back out to consider Mobile Addicts collectively, Flurry contends that by launching mobile apps 60 times a day, smartphones and tablets are effectively wearable devices for these users already. This, Flurry continues, gives “us a sneak preview into the make-up of early-adopters of Wearables, and what types of apps and experiences will resonate with them.”

Noting that many Wearables application developers have been focusing on fitness and health, Flurry recommends that “developers should think about the other experiences that will delight the people who need to be connected all the time.” That means the Teens, College Students and Middle-Aged parents who over-indexed in Flurry’s Mobile Addicts market segment.

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