With smartphone owners surpassing feature phone owners for the first time this year, mobile app usage has also continued to grow. Nielsen’s latest smartphone market report “Tops of 2012” (Via Macrumors) includes the top 10 iPhone apps of 2012, based on average unique users.
The Nielsen study took place between Q1 2012 and Q3 2012, and found that the smartphone user base has grown from 49% (recorded in Q1) to 56%. The research firm’s data shows Android with the biggest market share (52%), while iOS had grabbed 35% of the US smartphone market by the end of Q3 (although recent studies show a slightly different picture).
Of the top 10 iPhone apps, Maps (we think it’s the version that comes with iOS 5 and earlier, because Apple Maps launched just a couple months ago) retains the No. 1 spot, while YouTube grabbed third, behind Facebook in second. Nielsen also highlights the fact that Facebook Messenger was the fastest growing iPhone app.
As you can see from the chart below, Facebook controls three of the top 10 iPhone apps: Facebook (recording a 51% year-to-date change), Facebook Messenger (544%) and Instagram (197%).