Mobile analytics firm Zokem just published a new study comparing mobile application usage on smartphones and tablet computers to the time spent Web browsing. The results are not surprising – application use is far more popular than using the Web browser on these devices, the firm found.

Also of interest, especially to mobile application developers, are the differences in app and Web usage between tablets and phones. On smartphones, apps are 6 times more popular than Web browsing, while on tablets, the difference is not as significant.

Apps: A Better Experience on a Small Screen

The study, conducted in April 2011, found that on smartphones, apps were used 85% of the time, but the Web browser was used just 15% of the time. On tablets, apps were still popular, but were used just 61% of the time as compared with Web browsing, which was used 39% of the time.

Says Jing Wu, from Zokem’s research team, “it can be speculated that for tablets, the bigger screen and the better overall user experience in browsing contribute to the relatively higher face time for Web browsing. On smartphones, on the other hand, a smaller screen and of course, better availability of apps, contribute to the apps’ dominance.”

Zokem notes that because calling and text messaging features are not available on tablet computers, only applications such as games, entertainment apps, books, office apps and multimedia were compared with Web browsing in this study.

The analytics firm has been tracking the apps vs. mobile Web trend for some time, having released a study earlier this year that found apps, at 667 average minutes of usage per month, were the second-most popular smartphone usage category after messaging (671 avg. minutes/month). Meanwhile, Web browsing was fourth on the list at just 442 minutes per month.

sarah perez