Mobile app development has been a booming business for several years now. There has been a constant increase in the consumption of smartphones making the business extremely profitable. For any business to excel in this field, the most important consideration is whether to develop a mobile app or a website and think clearly about why you would choose one path over another. Although they are targeted to the same audience and have similar features there are key differences between the two.


Mobile apps are the application downloaded and installed on a physical end-point machine. They can push notification to the user, download data from the Internet for offline access.


Mobile websites are similar to the desktop websites consisting of HTML pages. These websites can display data, images, audio, and video. The websites are scaled and optimised for smartphone or tablet users to make the display responsive and friendly for users.


In this article, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of mobile apps, and websites. We also discuss the relevant statistics to help you figure out which way to go.




Mobile App


  1. Immersive experience: If your company is designing games then you need an interactive user design. Mobile apps engage the users and allow an immersive experience. They are designed keeping in mind user experience and address the needs of the user.
  2. Promoting the brand: The presence of a mobile app on users’ device ensures the users remember the brand. It provides a seamless experience to users, targeted marketing and a greater customer engagement.
  3. Offline usage: Users can access information anytime, anywhere even in offline mode. Mobile apps need internet access for providing content and functionality. However, many apps can download the content which can be used in offline mode.
  4. Interfacing with the hardware: Mobile apps can use the hardware of the smartphone like camera, gyroscope, barometer, GPS, proximity sensor and accelerometer. The sensors can count the steps, assist in navigation, provide weather details, adjust screen brightness and so on. This integration helps in enhancing customer experience.
  5. Personalization: Brands can provide personalized content to users based on their location, preferences, usage etc. They can provide recommendations to the users and also provide push notifications, deals and promotions.




  1. Though push notifications and recommendations, brands can keep customers engaged.
  2. Brand awareness is high due to the presence of apps on the smartphones.
  3. The apps can be personalised by users and apps also retain their data enhancing the customers experience.
  4. The apps also integrate well with the hardware and can enhance the capability of the device.
  5. Through offline access, users can read articles, download TED talks, podcasts and offline apps.




  1. Mobile app can be expensive compared to the websites, for example, some apps can cost $50/month.
  2. The initial costs can be a bit high as the apps need to be developed, tested and submitted to the store for review.


Mobile websites


  1. Wide reach: Mobile apps can work on Google play store or Apple app store however websites are available on all platforms. They have a wider reach and can be easily accessed.
  2. Inexpensive: Compared to app development, the websites are less expensive and just require an initial development cost. For brands to have presence on both Android/ Apple, mobile websites are a good option.
  3. SEO: The websites are SEO optimized and can get a higher ranking in search page results. This increases the traffic on websites and also increases a great brand visibility.




  1. Mobile websites are SEO optimized and their high ranking on search results can ensure brand visibility.
  2. Less expensive
  3. Websites have a higher audience reach as they are not dependent on the platform.
  4. Mobile websites are easy to setup as they just require a domain name and server hosting.
  5. Websites are available immediately unlike apps which need to be downloaded first.
  6. Unlike apps, mobile websites cannot be deleted and can be added to bookmarks for easy access.




  1. They cannot be personalized as per users’ preferences.
  2. Brands cannot send recommendations, push notifications or promotions through mobile websites.
  3. Mobile websites can also be cluttered with advertisements, have design and performance issues. Often the text is not readable and annoying popups. This makes the organization look unprofessional, in turn losing the consumer’s interests.


Usage Statistics


1 As per Smart Insights, 80% of users own smartphones and 89% of the users spend their mobile media time on mobile apps.


  1. In 2016, users downloaded 149.3 billion apps and in 2017 this figure grew to 197 billion app downloads worldwide. In 2021 this figure shows a staggering increase to 352.9 billion apps downloads worldwide.

Apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Google have been downloaded the most by users and gaming apps also perform well.


  1. The leading categories where users spend their maximum time include 20% on entertainment and communication, 18% on music, 10% on multimedia and games. For mobile marketers, this data can provide an insight into what users demand and where they are spending their maximum time.


  1. On an average, users use 10 apps in a day and they delete apps which they no longer use. In Brazil, consumers use nearly 12 apps in a day followed by India and China with 11 apps in a day.


  1. In the USA, consumers spend 5:50 hours on digital media, 4:40 hours on TV. In digital media, users are spending 3:14 hours on mobile and 2:08 on laptop or desktops. Although the share of TV is quite high, users nowadays prefer to watch videos on their smartphones and this segment is expected to go down.


Key takeaways


People are definitely spending more time with their mobile devices and this trend will go on. They generally listen to music, play games, access social networking websites on their smartphones. It’s all about communication and entertainment. Both Google Play store and Apple App store perform really well although they have their own advantages. For a broad audience reach, Google play store is the best and for high revenues, its App store. The target audience is in the age group of 18-24 years old as they spend their maximum time on mobile.  


When to use what?


Mobile apps and websites both have their own advantages however it totally depends on what your organization is trying to achieve.

For a gaming company, an app is sensible and for a blogger, having a website is the best option. If the user experience and leveraging the device hardware is essential for your business, then an app is required. For marketing, delivering content and easy sharing capabilities, a website is a good choice.

The best combination for businesses can be having both mobile app and website. Having a website ensures a low-cost, effective and broad web presence while having an app ensures superb user experience and high level of customer engagement.


Netfully are a Software Development Company In Dublin. Netfully’s core offerings include, Software Development, Mobile App Development, Software Testing and UX Design. If you would like any advise on the above, please fill out the contact form below.

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