Nielsen, Flurry (Yahoo) and comScore data all agree that nearly 90% of smartphone user time is spent in apps. In contrast to those findings, however, a number of consumer surveys have indicated that users prefer mobile websites to mobile apps when using the mobile internet.
As indicated in the graphic, LSA’s Local Media Tracking survey (conducted by Burke) found 64% of smartphone users preferred mobile websites to mobile apps. The number is even greater with tablets.
This finding is also supported by an earlier 2015 consumer survey from SEO firm BrightLocal. BrightLocal asked about user preferences regarding local business search. The survey found that 50% of respondents preferred mobile sites vs. 10% who preferred apps. A third category was mobile maps, which 40% preferred to use for local search.
Needless to say, it’s challenging to reconcile these “time spent” in apps metrics with the apparent consumer preference for mobile websites.