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Consumers in five countries now spend more than five hours a day using mobile apps. And consumers in 12 major markets spend over four hours per day in mobile apps, according to mobile data and analytics firm App Annie.

How much free time does the average working person have per day? App Annie made an estimate of what is typical behavior. Let’s say the worker gets home from work at 6 p.m., then prepares something to eat. If the person goes to bed at 11 p.m., that leaves around four hours in the evening. Add in some time on the commute and at lunch, and the average working person has just over five hours of leisure time a day.

And it turns out that some people are using all of that time in apps. Based on third-quarter data, App Annie said that Indonesians are the most mobile-oriented people. They spend an incredible 5.5 hours a day using mobile apps.

Top games

As for mobile gaming, My Talking Angela 2 was the top mobile game in the world. Hopes were high for Outfit7’s long awaited sequel, which the company describes as a “friend simulation.” The other outstanding product is Freeplay’s hypercasual Count Masters, which topped the Q3 game download chart in France, U.K., and Germany. Roblox swept the leaderboard for the U.S. — as the No. 1 game by all three metrics analyzed — downloads, consumer spend, and monthly active users.


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Above: Top games by downloads in Q3.

Image Credit: App Annie

Pokémon Unite was the No. 1 breakout game in South Korea by downloads, which is particularly impressive for the action MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game given that it only launched on September 22. It ranked as the No. 1 breakout game with only 9 days of downloads.

Notably, the U.S. has reached a new high of 4.2 hours, up from 3.9 in the second quarter, and the United Kingdom has hit four hours per day, up from 3.8 in Q2 2021 for the average Android phone user. The average consumer in South Korea is spending five hours per day in mobile apps, up from 4.8 in Q2 2021. Users in Japan increased their average daily time spent by 10% quarter over quarter from 4.4 to 4.8 hours in Q3 2021.

In Australia, this grew 15% quarter over quarter to 4.1 hours per day as more than half of Australia’s 25 million population went into lockdown in July as a new wave hit the country.

The numbers reveal the ‘mindshare’ dominance of the smartphone among the world’s consumers — especially those in developing countries. Brazil, India, and Mexico comprise three of the top five on the list (alongside Indonesia and with South Korea taking the remaining spot).

Meanwhile the data also shows that consumers in 12 of the countries on the 16-strong list now spend more than four hours a day in apps. That’s up from eight in the previous quarter.

After 60 years of dominance, the TV has been eclipsed. The glory days of the family gathered around the TV set are no more. Stats show daily time spent watching TV declined from 3 hours a day to 2.5 hours in the decade from 2011 to 2021.

Above: Breakout games by downloads in Q3.

Image Credit: App Annie

Among those apps, TikTok stands out. It was the most downloaded app in three of the territories monitored over Q3 2021. And it was the only app to appear in the top five lists of all nine countries.

In September, TikTok announced it had a billion active users, meaning one in eight people in the world use TikTok each month. Last year, App Annie predicted TikTok would surpass 1.2 billion monthly active users in 2021, and it is well on track to getting there.

Elsewhere, the top apps are the usual collection of evergreen social products (WhatsApp Messenger, Facebook, Telegram) and video conferencing tools (Zoom, Microsoft Teams). The other significant cohort is the group of COVID-related apps — Germany’s CovPass, France’s TousAntiCovid, and the UK’s NHS App, among others.

App Annie said it will be interesting to monitor the performance of these apps in the next quarter results now that — thanks to vaccines — many countries have reduced most of their pandemic restrictions.

In the U.S., Safe Classroom Communication was the No. 1 breakout app, followed by Truist, a mobile banking app, ESPN Fantasy Sports and Peacock TV — following seasonality of school resuming, football season kicking off, and new streaming content.

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