In its second annual report on consumer mobility, the Bank of America found that Americans are more plugged in than ever, with 71 percent even admitting that they sleep with their cell phones next to them. This, the BoA said, is evidence of a growing rate of addiction to mobile devices.
But America isn’t alone. The study found that many of the world’s industrialized nations show similar trends.
BoA discovered that the number of mobile devices went from 1.3 billion to 1.8 billion over the last year. Users who utilize smartphone apps 16 times per day grew from, 784 million to 985 million during the same period while “super users”—those who use apps more than 16 times a day—grew from 440 million to 590 million.
In fact, the “super users” are the fastest growing category.
“When we looked at Mobile Addicts, consumers who launch applications 60 times or more per day, we saw this group is growing at the fastest rate, from 176 million in Q2 2014 to a whopping 280 million in Q2 2015, a 59% increase,” BoA said.
In fact, BoA noted that last year the number of mobile app users in the world would have made up the eighth largest population center if they were their own country. But the number has grown so quickly that this year the combined number would make them the fourth largest country.
The study revealed that messaging apps and social media constituted the largest category of mobile device usage. Followed by utilities and productivity, then came games, financial uses, and media such as news and magazines.
Perhaps the biggest hallmark of the change in people’s habits was revealed when Bank of America realized that over half its customers rarely visit a brick and mortar bank location, preferring instead to do all their banking on their mobile devices and over the Internet.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at email@example.com.