Games reign as most popular mobile apps

Games are tops among 64 percent of those surveyed by Nielsen, which also found that 93 percent of app downloaders are willing to pay for the games they play--the highest of any category.

Games dominate as the most popular of all mobile apps, according to a Nielsen survey released today.

Among app users surveyed by Nielsen, 64 percent had played game apps in the past 30 days. Weather apps were the second most popular, followed by social networking, maps/navigation/search, music, and then news.

Further, Nielsen found that 93 percent of app downloaders are willing to pay for the games they play--the highest figure for any app category. That contrasted with 87 percent who will do so for entertainment apps, 84 percent who will dish out money for maps/navigation/search apps, and 76 percent who will open their wallets for news apps.

Looking across all mobile platforms, owners of iPhones, Android phones, and Windows 7 phones tend to have downloaded the games they play, as opposed to playing a game that was preloaded, transferred from another PC, or found on the Web. People with BlackBerry phones or feature phones are more likely to play games preloaded on their devices.

The typical mobile gamer plays for around 7.8 hours each month, Nielsen said. iPhone users are the heaviest gamers, playing for around 14.7 hours each month, while Android owners put in close to 9.3 hours per month diving into their favorite games.

Nielsen's surveys are based on online questionnaires of some 300,000 mobile users each year, according to This particular study targeted mobile gamers, specifically people who've played a game over the last 30 days.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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