Consumers are spending more time on phones than ever before, as Android users broke the 2.5 trillion hours threshold for the first time in the first half of 2023.
That’s via a new report from mobile analysts Data.ai, and although the company doesn’t break down time spent by category, there’s still a great amount of insight to be gained.
The top three regions for growth in hours spent were all in the APAC (Asia Pacific) region, with India leading at 26% growth from H1 2021, Thailand was next at +18%, with Indonesia in third place at +16%.
While perennial mega-markets like China saw slimmer growth at +13%, they still remain massive in terms of hours spent, although Indian mobile users seem to be more engaged with their devices than even Chinese users.
India, the US and Brazil remain at the top for downloads on iOS and Android, although Data.ai also notes they’ve seen practically flat growth for the past few years.
On the gaming side Data.ai also joined in the chorus of cries pointing to the meteoric success of Honkai: Star Rail, MiHoYo’s follow-up to their smash hit game Genshin Impact. Honkai boasted top downloads.
Scopely’s Monopoly GO also gets a tip as it and Star Rail are marked as 2023’s breakout hits for the first half of the year, with 40% of its downloads in Europe, hitting the number one spot in Italy and number two in both the UK and France.
What does this mean for gaming?
Overall it's great news as more time spent on phones inevitably leads to players spending more time in games, and non-players being more exposed to advertising and social media which may draw them towards games.
Meanwhile in India we see the problem of a highly-engaged, hugely populated audience, but an inability to montiese them as developers and publishers have achieved in Japan and China.
Honkai: Star Rail’s importance in the story can’t be overstated. As NetEase and Tencent battle for domination in China - and overseas to some extent - MiHoYo has nevertheless been penning its own story, with their primary competitor now one of their own games as Star Rail recently overtook predecessor Genshin Impact in terms of revenue.