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Most Android apps sit idle, top-50 apps make up 61% of all usage, Nielsen finds

Nielsen on Thursday ushered in a new era of mobile device usage reporting brought about by customer metering software installed on thousands of iOS and Android devices around the U.S. Rather than relying on survey results as is typical in the industry, Nielsen is now able to directly measure consumer behavior with its metering software — installed on consumers’ devices with their approval, of course — and report extremely accurate data. This first report examines Android owners’ usage of apps and the mobile Web, and finds that time spent using apps is roughly double time spent browsing the mobile Web. More interestingly, Nielsen found that the top-10 apps in the Android Market account for a whopping 43% of app usage on Android devices. “Despite the hundreds of thousands of apps available for Android, a very small proportion of apps make up the vast majority of time spent,” writes Don Kellogg, Director of Telecom Research & Insights, on Nielsen’s blog. The top-50 apps in the Market account for 61% of all usage, which means the overwhelming bulk of Android apps account for just 39% of app usage. Kellogg continued, “With 250,000+ Android apps available at the time of this writing, that means the remaining 249,950+ apps have to compete for the remaining 39 percent of the pie.”

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.