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Mobile / SmartphonesTravel bookings made through mobiles will amount to about $25 Billion by 2014 in the US, according to Google.
Head of industry, travel, for Google, Siddharth Dabhade, in a conference organized by Travelclick and IDeaS in India, made an interesting presentation on the mobile influence in the Indian and US hospitality segment. Key findings includes the following:
- By 2014, mobile revenue will be 18% of the online market and 8% of the total travel market.
- In the US in 2012, 22% of the total travel bookings/purchases are from mobile websites, 12% from native apps and the rest from non-mobile sources. For 2011, these numbers were at 20% and 9% respectively.
- In 2012, 14% of traveler have purchased extra travel services (ancillary) from mobile websites, 7% from native apps and the remainder are non-mobile sources. For 2011, these numbers were at 12% and 6% respectively.
(tnooz, April 2013)
US travellers are a more affluent subset of the digital population, and are more likely than internet users in general to own tablets and smartphones, according to an eMarketer report ‘Marketing to Mobile Travelers: Device Usage During Travel Offers New Touchpoints'.
Mobile devices are not just proliferating among travellers; they are constant travel companions. Prosper Mobile Insights surveyed US smartphone and tablet owners and found that as of March 2012 approximately 98% took their mobile devices with them on vacation; nearly four in five respondents in this group used them "all the time."
And in-flight is very much a key time when travelers turn to their mobile devices. According to FlightView's "2012 Flyer Survey," more than four in five US travellers polled used their smartphones while flying. About two in five respondents used laptops when on a plane, and a similar proportion used tablets.
Though smartphones are currently the dominant device in use on the plane, fliers are increasingly turning to their tablets. According to TripAdvisor's annual air travel study, 37% of respondents considered their tablet an "essential" in-flight accessory-a 5% increase from the 2012 survey.
Indeed, Gogo, the most prevalent in-flight internet provider, released figures in December 2012 that showed tablets were already connected to the internet on planes slightly more than both laptops and smartphones. (eMarketer, April 2013)
The number of overall US searches on mobile phones and tablets rose 21%, with searches reaching a total of 113.1 million for mobile phones and 38.7 million for tablets in December 2012, according to a comScore study conducted between April and December 2012, on behalf of 15miles and Neustar Localeze, that asked mobile phone and tablet users about their search activity. And of those conducting searches, many are seeking out local information.
US mobile phone and tablet users who visit search/navigation sites or Apps, April-December 2012:
- April 2012: 94.0 million via mobile phone and 31.4 via tablet
- June 2012: 97.6 million and 32.1 million
- August 2012: 103.6 million and 32.8 million
- October 2012: 107.4 million and 34.7 million
- December 2012: 113.1 million and 38.7 million
By December 2012, comScore found that nearly 86 million people searched for information on local businesses via mobile, a 25% increase over the beginning of the eight-month period. More than half of these mobile local searchers said they researched on the devices because they were on the go and needed immediate information.
This is not to say that local search has wholly moved onto mobile devices. 15miles' study found that the majority of PC local searches were conducted at the beginning of the search path. But another one-third of searches on PCs happened throughout the information-gathering process. Mobile phones and tablets, meanwhile, were more evenly split in the percentage of searches that happened at the beginning of and throughout the search process. Where mobile phones and tablets really showed their specific utility was in the share of local searches that ended on the devices-18% for each, compared with 4% of PC searches. It's notable that while tablets are increasingly seen as at-home rather than on-the-go devices, for local business searches, activity was very similar to mobile phones.
Apps are also becoming a more popular means of conducting local searches, a further indication of mobile's growing role in local search. 15miles found that the number of app-based local searches nearly doubled in the past two years.
Getting directions was a prime app search activity on mobile devices. Google Maps was the No. 1 app used for local searches on phones and tablets, at 35% and 25%, respectively. Interestingly, Facebook's app ranked second on both devices. Bing led the general search engine apps, with 17% using the portal on mobile phones and tablets. Again, on apps as well, local search activity on mobile phones and tablets continued to mirror each other somewhat closely.
In terms of the features users want on local business search sites, address, phone number, hours of operation, maps and directions ranked high across PCs and mobile devices. Interestingly, compared with the PC, more consumers on tablets and mobile phones wanted to see ratings and reviews on local business search sites. This is likely because on mobile devices, users want to do the least amount of clicking. They want reviews front and center when they conduct a search. Similarly, respondents gave precedence to seeing promos and online discounts on local search sites on mobile devices over PCs.
But perhaps what makes local search the most critical to businesses: conversion-especially on mobile. Around 77% of those who conducted a local search on either a mobile phone or tablet went on to make a purchase either in-store, online or over the phone. A lesser, but still notable, 59% of local PC searchers also converted. (eMarketer, April 2013)
An infographic from marketing research company, Intela, provides some interesting data around mobile shopping habits in the US and UK, the type of purchases and users attitudes to mobile advertisements.
- 44% of the US mobile users are more likely to make a purchase over mobile than a year ago, in the UK this number is at 40%
- 27% of men and 16% of women in the US are happy to spend $100+ per transaction
- 1 in 3 users in UK are more likely to respond to ads on their mobile than any other device
- For 1 in 3 users in the US, email is the key traffic source to make a mobile purchase
- 1 in 4 users in the US buy travel products over mobile, in the UK the ratio is 1 to 5.
(tnooz, March 2013)
Smartphones continued to drive the mobile landscape in the US in 2012, finally reaching 50% market penetration in 2012, according to comScore 2013 US Digital Future in Focus.
The Android platform also hit a 50% milestone as it captured the majority of the smartphone market for the first time. (comScore, February 2013)
75.9% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device in November 2012, according to comScore. Downloaded applications were used by 54.2% of subscribers (up 0.8 percentage points), while browsers were used by 52.1% (up 0.1 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 0.9 percentage points to 39.2% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 33.7% of the mobile audience, while 28.7% listened to music on their phones (up 0.4 percentage points).
US mobile content usage (3 month average ending November 2012 vs. month average ending August 2012) - Total US mobile subscribers (smartphone and non-smartphone) aged 13+:
- Send text message to another phone: 75.9%
- Used downloaded apps: 54.2%
- Used browser: 52.1%
- Accessed social networking site or blog: 39.2%
- Played games: 33.7%
- Listened to music on mobile phone: 28.7%
(comScore, January 2013)
Only 53% of all cell phone owners in the US have smartphones as their primary device, according to comScore. Over 110 Million cell phone users that have yet to migrate over from their feature phones. Well over 50% of new handset purchases are smartphones, which means that market penetration will continue to ascend for the foreseeable future.
Tablets saw a meteoric rise these past three years, reaching 40 million units in the US seemingly overnight while it took smartphones about nine years to reach a similar level. With all of the options available, adoption will continue at breakneck speed, but as noted above, there is still a long way to go before we hit saturation. (comScore, December 2012)
Generation Y (which it defined as consumers between the ages of 24 to 32) led the US in smartphone and mobile adoption, according to May 2012 research from Forrester.
Nearly all Generation Y consumers owned a mobile phone of some kind and 72% owned smartphones. Nationwide 93% of Americans owned mobile phones, but just 50% owned smartphones, Forrester found.
US mobile phone and smartphone penetration, by generation, May 2012 (% of internet users in each group):
- Gen Z (18-23): 95% have a mobile phone / 64% have a smartphone
- Gen Y Millennials (24-32): 97% / 72%
- Gen X (33-46): 95% / 61%
- Younger boomers (47-56): 92% / 39%
- Older boomers (57-67): 89% / 28%
- Golden generation (68-88): 85% / 16%
TOTAL: 93% / 50%
And these younger consumers aren't shying away from more expensive mobile devices. Generation Y is the only generation more likely to own an iPhone than any other handset; in all other age categories, Samsung either led or tied with Apple. LG, the third most popular mobile phone manufacturer, was particularly favored by older users, but was less popular with Generation Y than with any other age cohort. (eMarketer, January 2013)
In a number of web activity's categories, US consumers on a smartphone and on a PC behaved quite similarly, according to an analysis conducted in July 2012 by GfK Group on US consumers' web activity on a smartphone vs. on a PC..
Both PC and smartphone internet users spent a little under one-fifth of their internet time on email, and both allocated roughly a 10% share of time each to gaming and search. The most striking difference GfK found was that PC internet users were considerably less social than their smartphone counterparts. PC internet users spent a sizeable 18% of their internet time on social media activities, but on smartphones, social media truly dominated, accounting for a 31% share of internet time - nearly twice as much as the amount of time spent on email, the next most popular smartphone web activity. Clearly, social media is a prime reason smartphone users access the internet via mobile.
On the other side, PCs remained the platform of choice for watching video, although the gulf between PCs and smartphones was considerably less wide. PC users spent 13% of their computer internet time watching video, while smartphone users spent just 9%. The other internet category consumers spent significantly more time on via PC? "Other." This suggests that there are still a number of miscellaneous internet tasks that users don't yet feel comfortable navigating on smaller-size phone screens-at least for now.
eMarketer estimates that mobile accounted for 11.7% of daily media time in 2012, compared to about 25% spent online on nonmobile devices.
As mobile usage grows, the activities internet users perform via their smartphone will account for a greater share of overall time spent online across all devices. Categories like mobile social usage will be the drivers and beneficiaries of this trend. (eMarketer, January 2013)
The most popular activity in the US for mobile users searching for restaurant info is simply finding a place to eat nearby, but many users also go beyond that. Young internet users are especially likely to associate their phones with food, with 32% of US millennials reporting to Technomic in August 2012 that they had checked menus on their phones.
Gen Xers were about half as likely to do so, and just 8% of baby boomers said the same. A similar generation gap was present for other digital activities associated with restaurants, including following them on social media and checking in via mobile apps.
One thing that might is the ability to order ahead via mobile phone, typically used at quick-service or fast-casual restaurants. Nearly a quarter of US smartphone and tablet users reported having done so in a September survey by Prosper Mobile Insights.
More than six in 10 respondents said ordering ahead of time improved their dining experience at least a little bit (including 29% who said their experience was "a lot better"). (eMarketer, November 2012)
Mobile phones and tablets accounted for a combined 13.3% of total internet page views in August 2012, nearly doubling their share of traffic in just one year, according to comScore Device Essentials.
Mobile phones drove 9% of page views during the month, while tablets accounted for nearly half of that at 4.3% share of page views.
PCs continued to be the dominate source of online consumption driving 86.7% of all page views in August, but have seen their share of total consumption decline 6.4 points in the past year as consumers are turning to a growing number of devices to stay connected. (comScore, October 2012)
In the US travel apps were seeing the highest year-over-year growth of any industry or product-related app category in May 2012, at 116%, well above the growth in overall mobile app use (84%), according to a May 2012 Nielsen study ‘Courting Today's Mobile Consumer'.
Growth in mobile app use among US smartphone users, by category, May 2012:
- Photography: 123%
- Travel: 116%
- Finance: 105%
- Communication: 98%
- News & Information: 90%
- Commerce & shopping: 89%
- Entertainment: 85%
- Social networking: 59%
TOTAL MOBILE: 84%
Travellers are showing a penchant for using their phones to do more than simply complete an on-the-go booking. For example, comScore's "Mobile Travel Advisor" survey from February 2012 showed that US travellers were often using their smartphones for mobile hotel-related searches such as finding things to do nearby or places to eat near their hotel.
Mobile hotel-related travel activities of US smartphone owners, February 2012 (% of respondents):
- Looked up hotel address/directions: 29%
- Looked up/researched attractions/things to do at my destination/near my hotel: 23%
- Looked up/researched places to eat at my destination/near my hotel: 22%
- Read a hotel review: 22%
- Compared hotel prices & availability: 21%
- Booked a hotel room: 18%
- Received price alerts for hotels: 18%
- Looked up/researched ground transportation at my destination/near my hotel: 17%
- Canceled a hotel reservation: 10%
In response, travel marketers are incorporating social check-in partnerships, concierge services, customized coupons and other in-destination services into travel apps to create customer service touchpoints and brand loyalty opportunities as well as ancillary revenue streams. These recommendations are relevant to locals as much as they are to tourists, making the apps more widely marketable.
The trend toward mobile travel app usage points back to the fundamental nature of travel as a mobile activity. As smartphones proliferate, they'll more often be looked to as the go-to resource for travel information on the fly. (eMarketer, October 2012)
95% of all mobile traffic for travel-related content comes from native mobile apps, with Google Maps being the clear category leader, accounting for 78% of all time spent in the travel category in June 2012, according to figures from Nielsen,
Native app usage has been edging just ahead of mobile web usage among US smartphone owners in the last few months, but when it comes to the category of travel, mobile web use all but disappears from the map.
And just as Google has come to dominate search, it looks to be carving out a similar position in travel, a mobile-friendly category by its nature: Google Maps - in its combined native app and mobile web forms - accounted for 78% of all time spent in the travel category in June 2012, with a total of 78 million app users, and another 17 million on mobile web. (HOTELMARKETING.COM, August 2012)
More than 114 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in July 2012, up 7% versus April 2012, according to comScore.
75.6% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device in July 2012 (up 1.5 percentage points). Downloaded applications were used by 52.6% of subscribers (up 2.4 percentage points), while browsers were used by 51.2% (up 2.2 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 1.9 percentage points to 37.9% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 33.8% of the mobile audience (up 0.7 percentage points), while 28.3% listened to music on their phones (up 2.5 percentage points). (comScore, September 2012)
More than 110 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in June 2012, up 4% versus March 2012, according to comScore.
75% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device in June 2012 (up 0.7 percentage points). Downloaded applications were used by 51.4% of subscribers (up 1.4 percentage points), while browsers were used by 50.2% (up 0.9 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 0.8 percentage points to 36.9% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 33.4% of the mobile audience (up 0.8 percentage points), while 27.6% listened to music on their phones (up 2.3 percentage points). (comScore, August 2012)
Among US users of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots in Q2 2012, more than six in ten tagged their social media status updates, photo uploads or other posts with their location, according to mobile audience media company JiWire.
Users' likelihood of location tagging was heavily dependent on age, with as many as three-quarters of younger adults doing so. Among those ages 55 and up, taggers' share fell to 44%. But even in the 35-to-44 age range, more than two-thirds of users tagged posts with their location, and more than half of 45- to 54-year-olds did so, too.
Facebook was the most popular social network among all respondents, with 91% using it, and 88% of that group said they location-tagged posts. More than seven in ten Google+ users said the same, as did 68% of Twitter users and 60% of Instagram users. Demographic and behavioural profiles of those who location-tagged posts on the social sites varied in several ways.
Nearly half of respondents told JiWire that they location-tagged their posts in order to notify friends and family about where they were, while 31% said social sites simply make it easy to do so. Nearly a quarter, however, said they did not know why they engaged in the behaviour. This could point to a novelty factor that might wear off over time, or be another symptom of the ease with which social sharing services encourage location-tagging. (eMarketer, August 2012)
234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices for the three-month average period ending in April 2012, according to comScore, Inc.. comScore also estimates that 107 million people owned smartphones during the same period, up 6% versus January 2012.
In April 2012, 74.1% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, while 50.2% used downloaded applications.
Mobile Content Usage (3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2011) - Total US Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+:
- Sent text message to another phone: 74.1% (-0.5 percentage point compared to the 3 month avg. Ending Jan 2012)
- Used downloaded apps: 50.2% (+1.6)
- Used browser: 49.0% (+0.5)
- Accessed social networking site or blog: 36.0% (+0.3)
- Played Games: 33.1% (+1.3)
- Listened to music on mobile phone: 25.8% (+1.3)
(comScore, June 2012)
Almost half of all local travel searches completed on a mobile device in the US were related to transportation, according to a Q1 2012 report by mobile-local ad network xAd.
Travel agencies accounted for another 25% of searches, tours and attractions constituted 14% of searches and 12% of searches related to lodging and resorts.
xAd also examined mobile-local search data in the three subcategories of hotels and lodging, car rentals and airlines, finding relatively high clickthrough rates (CTR) for all. The CTR for ads shown after an airline search was an impressive 17.8%, followed by 17% for car rental searches and nearly 10% for hotel and lodging searches.
According to the report, the leading secondary action (the user's next action after an initial click) for both car rental and airline searches was the placement of a phone call to a business, at 73% and 89%, respectively. For hotel searches, more than three-quarters of secondary actions consisted of looking at maps and getting directions.
These secondary actions are the result of reluctance among consumers to navigate brand websites on a mobile device. Instead of dealing with an inconvenient interface on a small screen, customers preferred to call businesses directly. In the case of those performing hotel or lodging searches, consumers turned to map and directions apps to find the information they sought. In both instances, users sought the most efficient path, underscoring why brands seeking to secure bookings from mobile customers must focus on optimizing local search with a click-to-call button in results. (eMarketer, May 2012)
One in two mobile subscribers had a smartphone in May 2012 and that figure is moving steadily upwards, according to Nielsen. The figure reached 40% roughly a year ago.
By most measures, it has been the year of the App once again, driven mostly by the rise of Android and iOS users who have more than doubled in a year and account for 88% of those who have downloaded an app in the past 30 days. In just a year, the average number of apps per smartphone has jumped 28%, from 32 apps to 41. Not only is the 2012 smartphone owner downloading more apps, they are increasingly spending more time using them vs. using the mobile web - about 10% more than last year.
Some things haven't changed, however. The Top Five Apps continue to be Facebook, YouTube, Android Market, Google Search, and Gmail. And smartphone owners spend just about the same amount of time on apps each day (37 minutes a day in 2011 compared to 39 minutes today). Finally, privacy continues to be a concern with the vast majority (70% in 2011 and 73% in 2012) expressing concern over personal data collection and 55 percent wary of sharing information about their location via smartphone apps. (nielsenwire, May 2012)
Almost half (49%) of online leisure travellers who use mobile phones are either very or somewhat uncomfortable making mobile purchases that require them to enter their credit or debit card number, according to PhoCusWright's Mobile Hits the Mainstream: Leisure and Business Travel Trends.
The same percentage (49%) is similarly uncomfortable about completing purchases by using a mechanism in their phones. These figures suggest that simply altering the payment logistics may do little to alleviate lingering anxiety over mobile transactions. (PhoCusWright FYI, March 2012)
Nearly 116 million Americans will use a smartphone at least monthly by the end of 2012, up from 93.1 million in 2011, according to eMarketer. By 2013, they will represent over half of all mobile phone users, and by 2016, nearly three in five consumers will have a smartphone.
US smartphone users and penetration, 2010-2016:
- 2010: 62.2 million (26.9% of mobile phone users / 20.2% of population)
- 2011: 93.1 million (39.2% / 29.7%)
- 2012: 115.8 million (47.7% / 36.6%)
- 2013: 137.5 million (55.5% / 43.1%)
- 2014: 157.7 million (62.5% / 48.9%)
- 2015: 176.3 million (68.8% / 54.2%)
- 2016:192.4 million (74.1% / 58.5%)
The smartphone class is not defined by age, gender, income or race. Instead it is defined by its members' shared behaviours. Understanding the common behavioural traits that unite the class makes members easy to recognize and underscores the influence this class of consumers is having on how Americans communicate, consume media and shop.
One of those behaviours is to always be "snacking." The smartphone class doesn't tolerate dull moments; members turn to their phones for instant gratification. Depending on their mood in the moment, gratification might mean completing a quick task or finding a fun distraction. For marketers, this rising content consumption means an increasing number of touchpoints where they can reach consumers. eMarketer forecasts double-digit growth in mobile gaming as well as music and video consumption among the smartphone class through 2015. (eMarketer, May 2012)
Almost half (49.7%) of US mobile subscribers owned smartphones in February 2012, according to Nielsen. This marks an increase of 38% over last year; in February 2011, only 36% of mobile subscribers owned smartphones. This growth is driven by increasing smartphone adoption, as more than two-thirds of those who acquired a new mobile device in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.
Overall, Android continues to lead the smartphone market in the US, with 48% of smartphone owners saying they owned an Android OS device. Nearly a third (32.1%) of smartphone users have an Apple iPhone, and Blackberry owners represented another 11.6% of the smartphone market. Among recent acquirers who got their smartphone within the last three months, 48% of those surveyed in February said they chose an Android and 43% bought an iPhone. (nielsenwire, March 2012)
Growing from zero just a few years ago, US mobile leisure/unmanaged business travel gross bookings reached nearly US$2.6 billion in 2011, representing 2.4% of the US online travel market, according to PhoCusWright report "Mobile Hits the Mainstream: Technology and Industry Trends".
By 2013, that share is projected to grow to 6.5%, when mobile bookings (excluding managed corporate bookings) will represent 2.6% of the total US travel market. While mobile bookings will remain a small share of the total travel market over the next two years, the dollar values being transacted are substantial, exceeding $8 billion in 2013, according to eMarketer. (PhoCusWright, February 2012)
234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices for the three-month average period ending in December 2011, according to comScore, Inc.. comScore also estimates that 97.9 million people owned smartphones during the same period, representing 40% of all mobile subscribers.
In December 2011, 74.3% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, while 47.6% used downloaded applications.
Mobile Content Usage (3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2011) - Total US Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+:
- Sent text message to another phone: 74.3% (+3.2 percentage point compared to the 3 month avg. Ending Sep 2011)
- Used downloaded apps: 47.6% (+5.1)
- Used browser: 47.5% (+4.6)
- Accessed social networking site or blog: 35.3% (+3.8)
- Played Games: 31.4% (+2.6)
- Listened to music on mobile phone: 23.8% (+2.9)
(comScore, February 2012)
More than 26 million mobile phone users will turn to smartphones in the US over the next two years, according to eMarketer. This will help putting the devices in the hands of more than half of all US mobile users by 2014.
US smartphone users, 2012-2014:
- 2012: 106.7 million (44.0% of mobile phone users)
- 2014: 133.0 million (52.8%)
(eMarketer, February 2012)
In the US, whether or not you have a smartphone is closely related to both how old you are and how much money you make, according to a Nielsen survey in January 2012 of more than 20,000 mobile consumers.
While overall smartphone penetration stood at 48% in January 2012, those in the 25-34 age group showed the greatest proportion of smartphone ownership, with 66% saying they had a smartphone. In the same age group, 8 out of 10 of those that purchase a new device in the last three months chose a smartphone. Among those who chose a device in the last three months, more than half of those under 65 had chosen a smartphone.
But age isn't the only determinant of smartphone ownership. Income also plays a significant role. When age and income are both taken into account, older subscribers with higher incomes are more likely to have a smartphone. For example, those 55-64 making over 100K a year are almost as likely to have a smartphone as those in the 35-44 age bracket making 35-75K per year.
Smartphone penetration by age, January 2012:
- 18-24 age group: 62% of all subscribers
- 25-34 age group: 66%
- 35-44 age group: 58%
- 45-54 age group: 45%
- 55-64 age group: 33%
- 65+ age group: 22%
(nielsenwire, February 2012)
More than 75% of the US population now subscribe to a mobile phone service, according to eMarketer and nearly 114 million consumers are expected to access the internet via mobile in 2012.
But since many marketers are just launching mobile programs, uncertainties abound, including whether consumers prefer mobile apps or the mobile web. While the debate rages over that question, a Jumptap study of ad requests served over the past year shows a slight lead for the mobile web. But ads served to both the web and mobile apps are growing at a similar rate. In a press release, Jumptap points out that for marketers trying to decide whether to build an app or mobile site, the answer clearly depends on the audiences they're looking to target. It indicates that marketers don't have to have either to advertise; explaining that even if an advertiser doesn't have an app or a mobile website, they can still have a mobile landing page.
A study by Yahoo! and Ipsos presents a different answer to the question of whether consumers prefer apps or the web. Their findings show that it depends what activity consumers are performing.
Mobile internet tasks for which US smartphone users use a mobile app vs. Browser, 2011 (% of total):
- Shop: 73% browser / 27% (App)
- Search: 63% / 37%
- Entertain: 60% / 40%
- Manage: 46% / 54%
- Inform: 39% / 61%
- Navigate: 35% / 65%
- Connect: 31% / 69%
People overwhelmingly use a mobile browser for shopping, searching and accessing entertainment via their smartphones. But when they are navigating or acquiring information, apps are preferred. (eMarketer, February 2012)
Half of US smartphone users have now scanned a QR code at least once, according to research from Chadwick Martin Bailey, but findings suggest marketers have still not proven their value to consumers.
As QR codes pop up in more places, awareness of them is growing, and many users seem to learn what they do before learning what they are called. Chadwick Martin Bailey found that while just 21% of internet users surveyed in October 2011 had heard of QR codes before, more than four in five knew one when they saw one.
QR codes are becoming hard to miss, even for those without a smartphone. Data from mobile marketing firm Nellymoser indicates that well over 90% of the top 100 magazines in the US have featured at least one mobile barcode since May 2011; as recently as November 2010, just 9% had. The proportion of ad pages in those magazines that now feature mobile barcodes hovers around 5%.
That doesn't even touch on the presence of QR codes in outdoor advertising, in-store signage and packaging, or business cards-all among the top places smartphone users have scanned QR codes from, according to Chadwick Martin Bailey. With QR codes seemingly all around them, smartphone users' top reason to scan one was out of simple curiosity (46%), followed by the hope for more information (41%).
Reasons that US smartphone users have scanned QR codes, October 2011:
- Curious what it would do: 46% of respondents
- Get more information (e.g. about the company, product, deal event, etc.): 41%
- Take advantage of a discount or coupon or free gift: 18%
- Gain access to exclusive content: 16%
- Buy something: 6%
- Other: 3%
(eMarketer, January 2012)
35% of mobile users either like (22%) or love (13%) location-based check-in services, matched by the proportion who either do not like (8%) or do not understand (27%) the services, according to a December 2011 report from JiWire.
Data from the "Mobile Audience Insights Report Q3 2011? indicates that men are more likely than women to enjoy check-in services (39% vs. 30%), while women are 50% more likely to not understand the services (33% vs. 22%). Younger users also tend to report greater enjoyment: 46% of those ages 24 and under either like or love the services, compared to 40% of those aged 25-44 and 29% of those aged over 45.
The most popular check-in categories include restaurants, hotels, pubs/bars, and health clubs. (MarketingCharts, December 2011)
US mobile commerce sales (including travel) surged 91.4% in 2011, to reach $6.7 billion, according to eMarketer. Continued strong growth will boost sales to $31 billion in 2015.
More smartphone users, greater consumer comfort with mobile shopping and an increasing number of retailers launching mobile sites and apps will all play a part in propelling m-commerce sales. This will help US m-commerce sales grow at a compound annual rate of 55% from 2010 to 2015, including 73.1% growth expected this year.
US M-Commerce sales, 2010-2015:
- 2010: US$3.5 billion (+118.8%)
- 2011: US$6.7 billion (+91.4%)
- 2012: US$11.6 billion (+73.1%)
- 2013: US$17.2 billion (+48.3%)
- 2014: US$23.7 billion (+37.8%)
- 2015: US$31.0 billion (+30.8%)
In 2011 mobile shopping became synonymous with smartphone shopping. The percentage of mobile shoppers who were smartphone users jumped to 93%, from 75% in 2010. As people trade in their feature phones for smartphones they will naturally take advantage of their devices' powerful capabilities for doing a range of mobile activities, including shopping and buying.
US mobile shoppers, 2010-2015:
- 2010: 39.5 million (of which 75.2% are smartphone shoppers)
- 2011: 55.9 million (of which 93.1% are smartphone shoppers)
- 2012: 72.8 million (of which 94.3% are smartphone shoppers)
- 2013: 87.6 million (of which 95.1% are smartphone shoppers)
- 2014: 99.4 million (of which 95.3% are smartphone shoppers)
- 2015: 111.7 million (of which 95.9% are smartphone shoppers)
Completing a purchase via mobile is less popular, with only 26.8 million mobile users estimated to have done so in 2011, but that number too will rise quickly, to 61.8 million in 2015.
eMarketer indicated that purchases from mobile phones still account for a tiny share of total ecommerce sales. However, in some retail categories like flash sales and tickets, retailers report a much higher share of sales coming from mobile users. (eMarketer, January 2012)
234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices for the three-month average period ending in September 2011, according to data from comScore MobiLens study that surveyed more than 30,000 US mobile subscribers.
87.4 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in September, up 12% from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 44.8% market share, up 4.6 percentage points from the prior three-month period. Apple secured the #2 position, growing 0.8 percentage points to account for 27.4% of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 18.9% share, followed by Microsoft (5.6%) and Symbian (1.8%).
In September 2011, 71.1% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.5 percentage points. Browsers were used by 42.9% of subscribers (up 2.8 percentage points), while downloaded applications were used by 42.5% (up 3.0 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.4 percentage points to 31.5% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 28.8% of the mobile audience (up 1.9 percentage points), while 20.9% listened to music on their phones (up 1.9 percentage points).
Mobile content usage in the US, 3 month average ending September 2011 (Total US mobile subscribers - smartphone and non-smartphones - aged 13+):
- Send text message to another phone: 71.1% (+1.5 percentage points compared to the 3 month average ending June 2011)
- Used browser: 42.9% (+2.8)
- Used downloaded apps: 42.5% (+3.0)
- Accessed social networking site or blog: 31.5% (+2.4)
- Played games: 28.8% (+1.9)
- Listened to music on mobile phone: 20.9% (+1.9)
(comScore, November 2011)
While only 43% of all US mobile phone subscribers own a smartphone, the vast majority of those under the age of 44 now have smartphones, according to Nielsen's third quarter survey of mobile users. In fact, 62% of mobile adults aged 25-34 report owning smartphones. And among those 18-24 and 35-44 years old the smartphone penetration rate is near 54%.
Other groups show slightly lower penetration rates. Around 40% of 12-17 year-old teens and 40% of 45-54 year-olds reported owning a smartphone, as opposed to a more basic feature phone. After younger adults, the segment with the second fastest-growing smartphone penetration rate is those aged 55-64. Smartphone penetration among this older group is only 30%, but it jumped 5% this quarter.
As the smartphone market continues to expand, Android remains the most popular smartphone operating system in the US, with 43% of the market, while Apple is the top smartphone manufacturer, with 28 percent of smartphone consumers sporting an Apple iPhone. (nielsenwire, November 2011)
234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices for the three-month average period ending in August 2011, according to comScore. During this period, 84.5 million people in the US, up 10% from the preceding three month period.
70% of US mobile subscribers in August 2011 used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.0 percentage points. Browsers were used by 42.1% of subscribers (up 2.3 percentage points), while downloaded applications were used by 41.6% (up 3.0 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.3 percentage points to 30.9% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 28.5% of the mobile audience (up 1.6 percentage points), while 20.7% listened to music on their phones (up 2.1 percentage points). (comScore, October 2011)
iPhone's user base has changed significantly since its debut nearly five years ago. Due to tiered pricing and greater network availability, not only has iPhone adoption skyrocketed, but it has begun to move beyond the early-adopter audience. For instance, the device has gained popularity among women and consumers ages 45 and older, according to comScore.
Two years ago iPhone users were predominantly male, accounting for 63% of the user base. Today, women are adopting the iPhone at a fast rate and now account for 48% of the user base, according to comScore. According to the report, the 25-to-34 age group remains a sweet spot for iPhone, roughly one-third of the device's user base. However, the age group has dipped slightly in number-from 33% in 2009, down to 29% in 2010.
Demographic profile of US iPhone users, July 2011 (% of respondents in each group):
- Male: 52%
- Female: 48%
- 13-17: 6%
- 18-24: 17%
- 25-34: 29%
- 35-44: 20%
- 45-54: 14%
- 55-64: 7%
- 65+: 7%
- <$25k: 6%
- $25k-$50k: 14%
- $50k-$75k: 18%
- $75k-$100k: 17%
- $100k+: 45%
The iPhone has gained traction among older consumers in recent years, as well. comScore data indicates that the consumers ages 45 and older have readily adopted the device, with particular growth in the 45-to-54 age group.
eMarketer estimates that, among the overall population, Google's Android mobile operating system will surpass both BlackBerry and iPhone this year to become the top smartphone platform in the US. Yet with this month's introduction of lower price points for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, as well as iPhone availability on Sprint's network for the first time, Apple's smartphones will likely attract new customers, keeping the Android/iPhone rivalry fierce. (eMarketer, October 2011)
A high number of US consumers demonstrate a significant lack of understanding as to what QR (quick response) codes are or how they work, according to an online survey from strategic marketing firm Russell Herder of more than 500 US residents in August 2011 to gain insight into awareness levels of QR codes and attitudes towards their use among consumers.
Results from "The QR Question" indicate 72% of consumers say they have seen a QR code, but nearly 30% do not know what it is. In addition, nearly 1 in 5 consumers who regularly use the internet via mobile phone do not know what a QR code is.
Consumers age 18-24 have the highest rate of having seen a QR code (more than 75%), while those age 25-34 and 35-44 both have seen a QR code at a rate almost the same as the overall average. Interestingly, a slightly higher percentage of consumers age 55 and up report having seen a QR code than those 45-54.
Nearly 4 in 5 of those who have scanned a QR code have done so more than once. Perhaps more importantly, however, only 31% report that what they receive in return is always or usually worth their time. The largest portion of consumers who have scanned more than one QR code (52%) say it is sometimes worth it, while a combined 17% say it is rarely or never worth the time spent.
Consumers who have seen a QR code, know what it is and have scanned one with their mobile device tend to be younger (ages 18-34), male and regularly go online via their phone. More than 23% of mobile phone owners age 18-24 have scanned a QR code, roughly 50% more than the slightly more than 15% of overall mobile phone owners who have done so. Mobile phone owners age 25-34 also over-represent in having scanned a QR code.
Mobile phone owners age 35 and up all under-represent in having scanned a QR code with their device, with an almost negligible rate among those in the 55-plus bracket. It is also worth noting that among people who know what a QR code is, and own a mobile device that is capable of going online, 54% say they are likely to scan one.
In June 2011, 14 million mobile users in the US, representing 6.2% of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR code on their mobile device, according to an August 2011 study released by comScore MobiLens. The study found that a mobile user that scanned a QR code during the month was more likely to be male (60.5% of code scanning audience), skew toward ages 18-34 (53.4%) and have a household income of $100,000 or above (36.1%). In addition, 18-to-24-year-olds were 36% more likely than average to scan a QR code with a mobile device, and those with a household income of $75,000 but less than $100,000 were 18.6% more likely than average to scan QR codes. (MarketingCharts, October 2011)
38% of Americans own a smartphone, according to Nielsen. They have an average of 35 apps installed. Other Nielsen findings show that:
- Smartphone users spend 2/3 of their mobile phonetime on apps.
- 38% of connected device owners looked up product info for an ad while watching TV on their smartphone or tablet.
- 27% looked up coupons or deals related to an ad they saw on their smartphone or tablet.
- Nearly all mobile internet users visit portals, 77% visit email sites, and 44% visit social networking sites.
- 13-17 years olfs are the most likely to upgrade from the free to the paid version of an app. They're also most likely to respond to an ad, regardless of how it was served.
(Nielsen, October 2011)
A Pew Internet Project report represents at least a modest victory for Foursquare and similar services, finding that 12% of smartphone users are checking in via location-based apps. The research firm polled 688 smartphone users in May 2011 to arrive at the statistic, which, according to Pew, was up from the 7% of online users who said during the same month last year that they used location-based services.
In its report, Pew notes that it used the term "geo-social" for the first time in its questioning. And according to the study, check-in services like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt are most popular with adults below the age of 50, minorities, and people making less than $75,000.
Here are other major findings from the smartphone-based research:
- 92% of smartphone owners use their device for text messaging
- 76% employ their smartphones to check email
- 59% of smartphone owners utilize their device to access social networking sites
- 15% use their phone to access Twitter
(ClickZ, September 2011)
234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices for the three month average period ending in July 2011, according to comScore. In the same period, 82.2 million people in the US owned smartphones, up 10% from the preceding three month period.
In July 2011, 70% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.2 percentage points. Browsers were used by 41.1% of subscribers (up 2.0 percentage points).
Mobile content usage, 3 month average ending July 2011 - Total US mobile subscribers (smartphone and non-smartphone) aged 13+:
- Sent text message to another phone: 70% (+1.2 percentage points compared to 3 month average ending April 2011)
- Used browser: 41.1% (+2.0)
- Used downloaded apps: 40.6% (+2.8)
- Accessed social networking site or blog: 30.1% (+2.1)
- Played games: 27.8% (+1.6)
- Listened to music on mobile phone: 20.3% (+2.3)
(comScore, August 2011)
The US mobile web population will be up almost 25% in 2011 as 97.3 million mobile owners log on to the internet from their device at least monthly, according to eMarketer estimates.
By 2015, more than three in five mobile users and almost half the total US population will be using the mobile internet, eMarketer forecasts.
US mobile internet users and penetration, 2010-20125:
- 2010: 77.9 million (33.6% of mobile phone users / 25.1% of population)
- 2011: 97.3 million (41.0% / 31.1%)
- 2012: 113.9 million (46.9% / 36.0%)
- 2013: 127.9 million (51.7% / 40.1%)
- 2014: 142.1 million (56.4% / 44.1%)
- 2015: 156.1 million (60.9% / 48.0%)
eMarketer's estimates of mobile internet usage include people of any age who access the internet from a mobile browser or installed application at least once per month.
Most of the growth in mobile internet usage will come from increased smartphone penetration, which will reach 38% of mobile users and 28.8% of the overall population by the end of this year. The number of smartphone users is set to increase 49.6% this year and continue growing at a steady double-digit pace through 2015, when nearly 150 million US consumers will have such a device.
US smartphone users and penetration, 2010-2015:
- 2010: 60.2 million (26.0% of mobile phone users / 19.4% of population)
- 2011: 90.1 million (38.0% / 28.8%)
- 2012: 106.7 million (44.0% / 33.8%)
- 2013: 119.9 million (48.5% / 37.5%)
- 2014: 133.0 million (52.8% / 41.3%)
- 2015: 148.6 million (58.0% / 45.6%)
Mobile internet usage is still heaviest among younger adults, with 43.2 million US consumers ages 18 to 34 logging on to the mobile web this year, eMarketer estimates (or 44.4% of the total).
Usage is on the rise among older adults as well, however. This year, eMarketer estimates 21.5 million 45- to 64-year-olds and 3.7 million seniors 65 and older will use the mobile internet. By 2015, those numbers will both more than double to 45.4 million and 11.3 million, respectively. (eMarketer, August 2011)
Although more and more consumers are opting in to location services such as foursquare and Facebook Places, consumers under age 35 are particularly willing to share location in exchange for value, according to Q2 2011 data from mobile Wi-Fi hotspot provider JiWire.
The findings indicate that 53% of all mobile Wi-Fi users are willing to share their location to receive more relevant content. Younger consumers are particularly responsive to location-based programs - 60% of 25- to 34-year olds and 58% of those under 25 are willing share location.
Privacy may be what's holding older consumers back from location-sharing. A Nielsen study showed that consumers under 35 are less concerned with privacy when using location services than older consumers, which may explain their greater tendency to share location data. Half of 25- to 34-year-olds told Nielsen that they are concerned about privacy when using location-based services, compared to 61% of consumers older than 45.
Because location services are often coupled with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, younger, more social-media-savvy consumers may be more likely to opt in. Moreover, the younger demographics may be more willing to give up personal data in exchange for things like promotions and sales. (eMarketer, August 2011)
According to research from comScore and the Local Search Association, 22% of all US mobile owners used search on their phone in January 2011, up from 16% a year earlier.
In addition to the rise in reach, there has also been a rise in frequency. By January 2011, there was a 10% year-over-year drop in the share of users searching just a few times per month. At the same time, almost-daily usage was up 20%. More than half of mobile search users now search on their device at least weekly.
Mobile users are also upping their use of local content, by 34% year over year. While browser usage still dominates in terms of local content access methods, mobile browser popularity dropped slightly between 2010 and 2011. Apps, meanwhile, grew to take a larger piece of the local mobile content pie.
Ways that US mobile users conduct mobile searchers for local content, January 2011 (% of total):
- Browser: 75% in January 2010 / 73% in January 2011
- App: 42% / 56%
- SMS: 30% / 25%
As mobile users tap apps and browsers to search for local content, they are seeking out weather, news and maps first and foremost, but there has been major growth in usage of other local content, including classified ads (up 51%), online retail (up 50%) and restaurant info (up 40%).
The need for local businesses to reach mobile users when they are nearby is clear and growing. With 33% of all mobile users accessing local content, and 87% of that group GPS-capable, location-based targeting and local search opportunities can help marketers reach customers at a moment of need-and convenience. (eMarketer, August 2011)
Google's Android operating system (OS) now claims the largest share of the US consumer smartphone market with 39%, according to June 2011 data from Nielsen. Apple's iOS is in second place with 28%, while RIM Blackberry is down to 20%.
However, because Apple is the only company manufacturing smartphones with the iOS operating system, it is clearly the top smartphone manufacturer in the United States. Other leading manufacturers include HTC, whose Android phones represents 14% of the smartphone market and whose Windows Mobile/WP7 devices account for 6% of the market; and Motorola, whose Android devices are owned by 11% of smartphone consumers. Samsung's Android devices are used by 8% of smartphone owners while their Windows Mobile/WP7 phones are used by 2% of smartphone owners. (nielsenwire, July 2011)
48 million US mobile users accessed maps on their mobile device during the three month average period ending May 2011, an increase of 39% from the previous year, driven in large part by the increase in smartphone adoption, according to comScore. The study found that map usage via mobile applications was the primary access point for smartphone owners as the map app audience doubled in size over the past year.
The strong growth in mobile map usage and flattening of desktop map usage is indicative of broader behavioral shifts being wrought by smartphones, according to comScore. For years, consumers have been able to check directions on their desktop computers prior to leaving their home or office, now smartphones allow people to skip this step and access maps on the go, as they need them, showing off one of the most powerful capabilities of mobile - just-in-time-information.
The number of smartphone map users (which accounted for 4 out of every 5 mobile map users) reached 38.2 million in May, an increase of 75% from the previous year and outpacing the total smartphone audience growth of 57%. Applications represented the primary access point for approximately two-thirds of smartphone map users (up 98%), while browser map access was about half as popular as apps and grew at half the rate.
Smartphone browser and Application usage for map access (3 month average ending May 2011 vs. 3 month average ending May 2010), Total US Age 13+:
- Total smartphone: 38,208,000 (+75% compared to May 2010)
- Accessed Maps via Application: 25,815,000 (+98%)
- Accessed maps via mobile browser: 13,712,000 (+49%)
Among all mobile users (smartphone and feature phone) who accessed maps on their mobile devices, 88.9% did so from a car or other vehicle, with 16.9% doing so while walking, running or biking, and 13.6% while using public transit. The most utilized types of maps were graphical maps with turn-by-turn directions (64.0% of mobile maps users), followed by 48.3% using a graphical map without turn-by-turn directions and 46.0% using turn-by-turn directions without a graphical map. (comScore, July 2011)
38% of mobile consumers in the US owned smartphones in May 2011, according to Nielsen. And 55% of those who purchased a new handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone, up from 34% just a year ago.
Android continues to be the most popular smartphone operating system, with 38% of smartphone consumers owning Android devices. However, while Android also leads among those who recently purchased a new smartphone, it is the Apple iPhone that has shown the most growth in recent months. (Nielsen, June 2011)
For the first time ever, daily time spent in mobile apps is showing signs of surpassing desktop and mobile web consumption, according to Research by Flurry.
US mobile apps vs. Web consumption, minutes per day:
- June 2010: 64 minutes on the Web / 43 minutes on mobile apps
- December 2010: 70 minutes / 66 minutes
- June 2011: 74 minutes / 81 minutes
Flurry found that the average user now spends 9% more time using mobile apps than the internet. This was not the case just 12 months ago. Last year, the average user spent just under 43 minutes a day using mobile applications versus an average 64 minutes using the Internet. Growing at 91% over the last year, users now spend over 81 minutes on mobile applications per day. This growth has come primarily from more sessions per user, per day rather than a large growth in average session lengths. Time spent on the internet has grown at a much slower rate, 16% over the last year, with users now spending 74 minutes on the internet a day.
As a note of interest, Facebook has increasingly taken its share of time spent on the internet, now making up 14 of the 74 minutes spent per day by consumers, or about one sixth of all internet minutes. Consumers spend nearly half their time using Games, and a third in Social Networking apps. Combined, these two categories control a whopping 79% of consumers' total app time. Further, consumers use these two categories more frequently, and for longer average session lengths, compared to other categories. Overall, Games and Social Networking apps deliver the most engaging experience on mobile today.
Games and Social Networking categories capture the significant majority of consumers' time.
US mobile app consumption, time spent per category:
- Games: 47%
- Social Networking: 32%
- News: 9%
- Entertainment: 7%
- Other: 5%
(eyefortravel, June 2011)
16.7 million US mobile subscribers used location-based "check-in" services on their phones in March 2011, representing 7.1% of the entire mobile population, according to a s study by comScore. 12.7 million check-in users did so on a smartphone, representing 17.6% of the smartphone population.
The study also found that check-in service users showed a high propensity for mobile media usage, including accessing retail sites and shopping guides, and displayed other characteristics of early adopters, including a stronger likelihood of owning a tablet device and accessing tech news, when compared to the average smartphone user.
Check-in service users, defined as those accessing services such as Facebook Places, Foursquare and Gowalla, had heavy skews toward 18-24 year olds (26.0%) and 25-34 year olds (32.5%) in relation to both the total mobile audience and the overall smartphone audience. They were more likely to be full-time students (23.3%) when compared with total mobile (14.6%) or overall smartphone users (16.5%). Nearly half (46.4%) of check-in users were employed full time, slightly less than the percentage of smartphone users who were employed full time (53.3%). Both check-in service and smartphone users were more likely to be employed full time than overall mobile users (38.9%).
Demographic profile for check-in service users, (3 month average ending March 2011) - total US mobile subscribers aged 13+:
- Male: 48.0% of total mobile users / 53.9% of smartphone users / 49.2% of check-in service users
- Female: 52.0% / 46.1% / 50.8%
- 13-17 years old: 7.1% / 6.0% / 8.3%
- 18-24 years old: 12.5% / 17.5% / 26.0%
- 25-34 years old: 17.6% / 27.3% / 32.5%
- 35-44 years old: 16.8% / 21.8% / 18.7%
- 45-54 years old: 17.8% / 15.0% / 9.7%
- 55-64 years old: 14.1% / 7.8% / 3.0%
- 65 years old and older: 14.0% / 4.7% / 1.7%
- Employed full time: 38.9% / 53.3% / 46.6%
- Employed part time: 10.5% / 9.0% / 10.2%
- Not employed but not retired: 15.1% / 12.5% / 13.5%
- Fill-time student: 14.6% / 16.5% / 23/3%
- Retired or other: 20.9% / 8.8% / 6.3%
Of the 16.7 million people using check-in services on their mobile devices, 12.7 million (76.3%) did so via a smartphone device. Android accounted for the largest share of check-in service users with 36.6% checking-in from an Android device, while 33.7% of users checked in from an iPhone, with Apple having the highest representation relative to its percentage of the total smartphone market. RIM accounted for 22% of check-in service users, while Microsoft, Palm and Symbian each accounted for less than 5%.
When compared with an average smartphone owner, social networking check-in users were more likely to access mobile media across a majority of content categories. More than 95% of check-in service users used their mobile browser or applications. Nearly 62% accessed news. Check-in user behavior was also consistent with that of traditional early adopters, with 40.3% of users accessing tech news and 28.2% owning a media tablet, both significantly higher than average.
Check-in service users also showed a high propensity for accessing retail-related destinations on their mobile devices. Nearly one-third of users accessed online retail sites on their mobiles, while a quarter accessed shopping guides, and 22% access travel service (against 11.8% among smartphone users).
Check-in service users were also more likely to be exposed to mobile advertising, with nearly 40% recalling seeing a web or app ad during the month, compared to just 27.5% of smartphone users. (comScore, May 2011)
79% of US smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer, according to the results from "The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users," a study from Google and conducted by Ipsos OTX, among 5,013 US adult smartphone internet users at the end of 2010.
Smartphones have become an integral part of users' daily lives. Consumers use smartphones as an extension of their desktop computers and use it as they multi-task and consume other media:
- 81% browse the internet, 77% search, 68% use an app, and 48% watch videos on their smartphone
- 72% use their smartphones while consuming other media, with a third while watching TV
- 93% of smartphone owners use their smartphones while at home.
Mobile search is heavily used to find a wide variety of information and to navigate the mobile internet:
- Search engine websites are the most visited websites with 77% of smartphone users citing this, followed by social networking, retail and video sharing websites
- Nine out of ten smartphone searches results in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.)
- 24% recommended a brand or product to others as a result of a smartphone search.
Looking for local information is done by virtually all smartphone users and consumers are ready to act on the information they find:
- 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information
- 88% of these users take action within a day, indicating these are immediate information needs
- 77% have contacted a business, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business.
Cross-media exposure influences smartphone user behaviour and a majority notice mobile ads which leads to taking action on it:
- 71% search on their phones because of an ad exposure, whether from traditional media (68%) to online ads (18%) to mobile ads (27%)
- 82% notice mobile ads, especially mobile display ads and a third notice mobile search ads
- Half of those who see a mobile ad take action, with 35% visiting a website and 49% making a purchase.
(HOTELMARKETING.COM, April 2011)
234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices for the three month average period ending in March 2011, according to comScore.
72.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in March 2011, up 15% from the preceding three-month period. Google Android grew 6.0% points to 34.7% market share, while RIM ranked second with 27.1%. Apple grew 0.5% points to 25.5% share, followed by Microsoft (7.5%) and Palm (2.8%).
In March 2011, 68.6% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device. Browsers were used by 38.6% of subscribers (up 2.2% points), while downloaded applications were used by 37.3% (up 2.9% points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.6% points, representing 27.3% of mobile subscribers. Playing games comprised 25.7% of the mobile audience, while listening to music represented 17.9%. (comScore, May 2011)
Apple's iOS platform, which resides on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, has a combined platform reach of 37.9 million among all mobile phones, tablets and other such connected media devices, outreaching the Android platform by 59%, according to the results of a US study of Apple iPad owners, based on data from the comScore MobiLens service.
Among the 37.9 million consumers with access to the Apple iOS, only 4 million (10.5%) accessed the platform via more than one device. The combined 37.9 million iOS users is 59% greater than the 23.8 million combined Android OS installed base, which includes users of both Android phones and connected media devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. (comScore, April 2011)
Fewer than three in five US smartphone users aged 14 years old and older knew about location-based mobile apps, and just 39% used them, according to a February 2011 survey by digital marketing agency White Horse.
Earlier market entrants foursquare and Gowalla have been quickly passed in usage by Facebook Places, which can be credited with introducing check-ins to the masses, if not leading to mass adoption.
Most frequently used location-based app among US location-based app users, February 2011 (% of respondents):
- Facebook Places: 42%
- Google Latitude: 27%
- foursquare: 25%
- Twitter Places: 3%
- Gowalla: 2%
- Whrrl: 1%
Most smartphone users believed social connections were the biggest draw to location-based apps. Among those who were familiar with them, 41% said connecting to people they knew or could meet was the main benefit, followed by finding places their friends liked (21%) and being able to keep track of their movement patterns over time (17%). Just 8% thought discounts and rewards were the most important benefit, and only 4% cared about the gaming elements of checking in.
Meanwhile, privacy was the biggest problem with adopting the apps. Nielsen surveyed US app downloaders in April 2011 about their feelings around location-based apps and privacy and found those fears ran throughout the population. In every age group broken out, at least half of respondents said they were "concerned," with no more than 13% saying they were "not concerned." Analyzed by gender, the results were the same: Majorities of both men and women were concerned. (eMarketer, May 2011)
Most mobile app downloaders in the US are concerned about privacy when it comes to sharing their location via mobile phone, according to The Nielsen Company's research on mobile applications in April 2011.
This concern is more pronounced among women app downloaders, with 59% reporting they have privacy concerns compared to 52% of male app downloaders.
Extent to which using location-based services/check-in apps is privacy concern:
- Male: 52% are concerned / 36% are indifferent / 12% are not concerned
- Female: 59% / 34% / 8%
Age is a factor as well. Mobile app downloaders between the ages of 25-34 were the least likely to have privacy concerns. Privacy concerns were considerably higher among those over the age of 45.
Extent to which location-based services/check-in apps is privacy concern:
- 13-17 years old: 55% are concerned / 39% are indifferent / 7% are not concerned
- 18-24 years old: 52% / 38% / 10%
- 25-34 years old: 50% / 38% / 13%
- 35-44 years old: 56% / 34% / 10%
- 45-54 years old: 61% / 30% / 10%
- 55+ years old: 63% / 29% / 8%
As consumers become increasingly familiar with location-based apps, and as marketers earn their trust and become more savvy about understanding what benefits consumers expect in exchange for that information, consumers will become more comfortable with the idea of location-based mobile applications. (The Nielsen Company, April 2011)
234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices during the three month average period ending in January 2011, according to a comScore survey of 30.000 US mobile subscribers.
65.8 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in January 2011, up 8% from the preceding three-month period. Google Android captured the #1 ranking among smartphone platforms for the first time in January with 31.2% market share. RIM ranked second with 30.4% market share, followed by Apple with 24.7%. Microsoft (8.0%) and Palm (3.2%) rounded out the top five.
In January 2011, 68.1% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, while browsers were used by 37.0% of subscribers (up 0.8% points). Subscribers who used downloaded applications comprised 35.3% of the mobile audience, representing an increase of 1.6% points. Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 1.1% points, representing 25.3% of mobile subscribers. Playing games represented 23.7% of the mobile audience, while listening to music represented 16.5% (+1.1% points).
Mobile content usage, 3 month average ending January 2011 (total US mobile subscribers ages 13+):
- Send text message to another phone: 68.1% of mobile subscribers (0.0 point change compared to 3 month average ending October 2010):
- Used browser: 37.0% (+0.8)
- Used downloaded apps: 35.3% (+1.6)
- Accessed social networking site or blog: 25.3% (+1.1)
- Played games: 23.7% (0.0)
- Listened to music on mobile phone: 16.5% (+1.1)
(comScore, March 2011)
Awareness of QR (or quick response) codes is high among US smartphone owners, according to a February 2011 research from agency MGH. Nearly two-thirds have seen a QR code, and about half that number (or one-third overall) had used one.
Most respondents reported seeing QR codes on a product, in a magazine or on a coupon. And they were typically used to get coupons or discounts, or to access information.
The demographic breakdown of users who had seen vs. used a QR code was virtually identical. Smartphone users were almost evenly split by gender, and while users under age 55 were relatively few, the field was not dominated by 18- to 34-year-olds. Users who had seen or used QR codes tended to be more affluent and educated.
Demographic profile of US smartphone users who have used a QR code, February 2011:
- Gender: male (51%) / Female (49%)
- Age: 18-34 (39%) / 35-54 (48%) / 55+ (13%)
- Household income: <$25K (6%) / $25K-$50K (23%) / $50K+ (71%)
- Education level: High school or less (11%) / College/Associate (26%) / University+ (63%)
Actions for which US smartphone users have used QR codes, February 2011 (% of respondents):
- To get a coupon, discount or deal: 53%
- Access additional information: 52%
- Enter a sweepstakes: 33%
- Sign up to receive more information: 26%
- Access video: 24%
- Make a purchase: 23%
- Interact with social media properties: 23%
- Other: 11%
- Don't know: 2%
Using a QR code once or twice to try it out, however, does not necessarily translate into regular use. MGH found that 70% of all respondents said they would be interested in scanning a QR code either again or for the first time, but the survey did not ask about how often they typically do so.
The InsightExpress "Digital Consumer Portrait" found that just a quarter of smartphone owners said they scanned QR codes always or almost always. And while the codes are newer and hipper than text messaging, SMS was the preferred way to receive mobile coupons, at 25% vs. 10%. (eMarketer, April 2011)
Mobile applications continue to enhance the smartphone user experience. Two-thirds of owners say they have downloaded games and social networking applications to their device. More than half (54%) say they have downloaded travel software, such as maps and weather applications, while 53% indicate having downloaded entertainment-oriented applications. This indicates that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.
Overall satisfaction with smartphones and traditional mobile phones is considerably higher among owners who use their devices for social media activity, compared with satisfaction among owners who do not access social media platforms on their phones, according to a study by J.D. Power and Associates.
Among smartphone owners who use their device to access social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, satisfaction averages 783 on a 1,000-point scale; nearly 22 points higher than among those smartphone owners who do not often use social media sites on their device.
Currently, more than half of smartphone owners report having used their device to access social media sites via the mobile Web or mobile applications. While rates of mobile social media site usage are not nearly as high among owners of traditional mobile phones (9%, on average), satisfaction among traditional handset owners who use their device for social media is notably higher than that of traditional handset owners who don't access social media (754 vs. 696).
Significantly, it is being highlighted that these findings demonstrate that equipping devices with powerful features and service is key to creating positive customer experiences with wireless devices.
Ownership tenure impacts overall satisfaction with the device experience. Those who report owning their device less than one year are significantly more likely to be more satisfied than those who have owned their wireless phone for a longer period of time (773 vs. 728). Newer devices tend to offer more features, services and better quality than older phones. (eyefortravel, March 2011)
There are 73.3 million US smartphone users in 2011 and many are turning to their phones to help them shop, according to eMarketer,
More than half of 1,400 consumers polled reported using their smartphones to assist them with shopping, according to a study conducted in January 2011 by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies. The research found that more than 70% of iPhone owners report using applications or their smartphone's web browser to help them while shopping in-store, and 41% are making purchases directly from their phones.
The study also found that 66% of respondents used their smartphones to conduct price comparisons on a product or service and 58% used them to find the closest store locations. While 41% of those polled said they had made purchases from their smartphones, just 17% said that making a purchase was their reason for using a smartphone.
Reasons for using their smartphone while shopping according to US smartphone owners, January 2011 (as a % of respondents):
- Compare prices of a product/service: 66%
- Find the nearest store location: 58%
- Check for discounts: 58%
- Read reviews: 49%
- Look at a competitive product/service: 46%
- Check availability: 38%
- Compare features: 37%
- Make a purchase: 17%
This data is in line with comScore findings, also from January 2011, which identified the top three mobile shopping activities for US smartphone users: finding nearby stores (49%), comparing prices prior to shopping (46%) and researching product details (44%).
Mobile shopping activities of US smartphone users, January 2011 (as a % of respondents):
- Finding nearby stores: 49%
- Comparing prices before shopping for an item: 46%
- Researching product details: 44%
- Comparing prices while shopping for an item in person at a store: 40%
- Accessing deal-of-the-day apps: 30%
- Searching for product reviews/recommendations from a website: 30%
- Mobile barcode scanning to compare prices: 30%
- Purchasing an item online: 28%
- Searching for product reviews/recommendations via a social networking site or app: 26%
- Sharing product recommendations via email: 21%
- Sharing product recommendations via a social networking site or app: 11%
- None of the above: 4%
Research from Accenture on retail shopping apps found that consumers considered those that offer money-off coupons (42%) and the ability to view current in-store specials (36%) most useful. But somewhat in line with Chadwick Martin Bailey and comScore, driving directions to the store (33%) was the third most useful function according to those polled. (eMarketer, March 2011)
Google's Android smartphone operating system is now the most prevalent in the US, having overtaken previous market leader RIM, according to comScore.
comScore estimates the Android platform was running on an average of 31.2% of handsets in the three months ending January 31, compared with a 30.4% share for RIM's OS, and a 24.7% share of market for Apple's iOS.
Android's growth appears to have come largely at the expense of RIM's, which saw the reach of its OS dip 5.4% points over the three-month period. Despite the launch of its Windows Phone 7 OS, Microsoft's market share also suffered, decreasing by 1.7% points. Meanwhile, Apple's share remained relatively flat, growing its share by 0.1%, while Google's grew by a substantial 7.7% points.
It's important to note, however, that this data reflects OS use on smartphone devices only, and does not include other connected devices such as tablets or the iPod Touch.
Top smartphone platforms (3 months average ending January 31 2011), % of subscribers:
1. Google: 31.2% (+7.7%)
2. RIM: 30.4% (-5.4%)
3. Apple: 24.7% (+0.1%)
4. Microsoft: 8.0% (-1.7%)
5. Palm: 3.2% (-0.7%)
(ClickZ, March 2011)
As smartphones proliferate and the mobile internet reaches more consumers, all segments of the population are beginning to go online anytime and anywhere. But mobile web use is still heaviest among typical early adopters (males and younger adults) and while many are already addicted to the convenience, they are also frustrated by the downsides of the web on the go.
20% of US mobile phone users use the mobile internet at least daily, with usage most frequent among those under 45, according to January 2011 research conducted by YouGov on behalf of mobile solutions provider Antenna Software. Men were 7% points more likely to use the mobile internet each day than women.
Frequency of using the mobile internet among US mobile phone users, by gender, January 2011 (% of respondents):
- Once a day or more often: 24% among male / 17% among female / 20% TOTAL
- 4-6 times a week: 5% / 6% / 5%
- 2-3 times a week: 5% / 4% / 5%
- Once a week: 3% / 2% / 2%
- Once every two weeks: 3% / 2% / 2%
- Once a month: 2% / 2% /2%
- Once every few months: 2% / 1% /2%
- Once or twice a year: 2% / 1% /2%
- Less often than once a year: 3% / 2% / 2%
- Never: 33% / 34% / 34%
- Not applicable - I cannot access the internet on my mobile phone: 19% / 29% / 24%
The same two groups were most likely to complain about the speed and size of the mobile web experience. Among males, 44% said the small size of mobile screens discouraged them from using the internet, vs. 38% of women. In addition, 36% of men said it was too slow, compared to 29% of women.
Similarly, users under age 45 were significantly more likely to complain about the speed of the mobile web, and respondents under 55 were frustrated by the size of mobile web displays. Only one group reported greater frustration with any aspect of the mobile internet: Fully half of adults ages 18 to 24 were annoyed that some website designs did not work at all on their phones.
Overall, significant proportions of mobile internet users said they would do more activities on their phone if the display were tailored especially for mobile use.
Online activities US mobile internet users would perform more often via mobile internet if the display were tailored to mobile phones, January 2011 (% of respondents):
- Email: 46%
- Looking at maps: 38%
- Checking information online: 38%
- Checking the news: 37%
- General browsing: 35%
- Shopping: 28%
- Social networking: 27%
- Instant messaging: 21%
- Gaming: 18%
- Other: 4%
- Don't know: 9%
- I don't have problems with the display on my mobile phone: 6%
- Not applicable: 22%
The frustration of early adopters with the speed, size and design of the mobile web likely comes directly from their avid usage, which confronts them directly with these problems on a daily basis. As constant mobile web use spreads further throughout the population, expectations for a PC-like experience via mobile may increase. (eMarketer, March 2011)
Most mobile owners in the US still have only a feature phone, but eMarketer predicts smartphone ownership will rise from 31% of the mobile population this year to 43% by 2015. Nearly 110 million Americans will have a smartphone by the end of that year.
US smartphone users, 2009-2015:
- 2009: 40.4 million (+46.6% change)
- 2010: 60.2 million (+48.9%)
- 2011: 73.3 million (+21.9%)
- 2012: 84.4 million (+15.1%)
- 2013: 93.4 million (+10.7%)
- 2014: 101.5 million (+8.6%)
- 2015: 109.5 million (+7.9%)
As of the end of 2010, eMarketer estimates 30% of smartphone users in the US had a BlackBerry and 28% had an iPhone, the top two operating systems. But Android's share of the market is rising quickly. Nielsen tracking surveys found Android pulling ahead among recent smartphone purchasers, and eMarketer predicts that by 2012 Android will be the no. 1 mobile operating system in the country.
The changing device landscape is encouraging changing usage patterns. eMarketer estimates that time spent with mobile devices is rising faster than for any other medium, up 28.2% in 2010. Smartphone owners, more active with every type of mobile content than feature phone owners, are likely on the leading edge of this trend. (eMarketer, February 2011)
Market share for smartphones using the Google Android operating system in the US reached 26%, representing the first time it ranked higher than Apple smartphones, according to comScore. During the three months ended November 30, 2010, a total of 25% of smartphones in the US were using Apple's operating system. (ClickZ, January 2011)
31% of mobile users, or 73.3 million people in the US, have a smartphone in 2011, according to eMarketer. Penetration is still growing fairly quickly, and smartphones will be in the hands of 43% of mobile users by 2015. As advanced handsets reach more consumers, the app revolution has taken off, but research suggests that app adoption still shows evidence of being most popular among typical early-adopter demographics.
Overall, Ask.com and Harris Interactive found that 69% of US smartphone owners had downloaded a mobile app as of October 2010. Among men the figure was 74%, while just 62% of women said they had downloaded apps.
Respondents ages 35 to 44 were most likely to report having downloaded a mobile app, followed closely by those ages 18 to 24. Overall, app downloads among smartphone users ages 18 to 44 were significantly higher than among older users. Downloading an app was actually a minority activity for those over 55.
US smartphone users who have downloaded mobile apps, by age, October 2010:
- 18-24: 85%
- 25-34: 69%
- 35-44: 86%
- 45-54: 52%
- 55-64: 49%
- 65+: 30%
Income also played a role in app downloads, as it does in smartphone ownership overall. The most affluent respondents were more likely to say they had downloaded an app, while those making less than $75,000 annually came in below average.
US smartphone users who have downloaded mobile apps, by income, October 2010:
- <$15K: 54%
- $15K-$35K: 67%
- $35K-$50K: 64%
- $50K-$75K: 61%
- $75K-$100K: 70%
- $100K+: 77%
There are only a few demographic groups for which apps are still a niche activity, but the programs have not yet reached mass-media status for all users. The higher focus of young and affluent smartphone users on mobile apps will bolster their popularity among marketers. And as lower-usage groups continue to adopt smartphones and those with smartphones become more comfortable with the devices their habits will likely follow suit. (eMarketer, January 2011)
234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices, for the three month average period ending in November 2010, according to comScore.
61.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in November, up 10% from the preceding three-month period, as RIM led with 33.5% market share of smartphones. After several months of strong growth, Google Android captured the #2 ranking among smartphone platforms in November 2010 with 26.0% of US smartphone subscribers. Apple accounted for 25.0% of smartphone subscribers (up 0.8% points), followed by Microsoft with 9.0% and Palm with 3.9%.
Top smartphone platforms - 3 month average ending November 2010 vs. 3 month average ending August 2010 (total US smartphone subscribers ages 13+):
- RIM: 33.5% of total smartphone subscribers (-4.1% compared to August 2010)
- Google: 26.0% (+6.4%)
- Apple: 25.0% (+0.8%)
- Microsoft: 9.0% (-1.8%)
- Palm: 3.9% (-0.7%)
In November, 67.1% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 0.5% points versus the prior three month period, while browsers were used by 35.3% of US mobile subscribers (up 0.8% points). Subscribers who used downloaded applications comprised 33.4% of the mobile audience, representing an increase of 1.1% points. Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 1.0% points, representing 23.5% of mobile subscribers. Playing games attracted 22.6% of the mobile audience while listening to music attracted 15.0%.
Mobile Content Usage - 3 month average ending November 2010 vs. 3 month average ending August 2010 (total US mobile subscribers ages 13+):
- Send text message to another phone: 67.1% (+0.5% compared to August 2010)
- Used browser: 35.3% (+0.8%)
- Used downloaded apps: 33.4% (+1.1%)
- Accessed social networking site or blog: 23.5%
- Played games: 22.6% (-0.4%)
- Listened to music on mobile phone: 15.0% (+0.3%)
(comScore, January 2011)
Nearly a third (31%) of all mobile consumers in the US owned smartphones, cellphones with app-based, web-enabled operating systems as of December 2010, according to The Nielsen Company. But smartphone penetration is even higher among mobile users who are part of ethnic and racial minorities in the US - namely Asian/Pacific Islanders (45%), Hispanics (45%) and African-Americans (33%), populations that also tend to skew younger. Meanwhile, only 27% of White mobile users reported owning a smartphone.
Although only 42% of Whites who purchased a mobile phone in the past six months chose a smartphone over a feature phone, 60% of Asians/Pacific Islanders, 56% of Hispanics, and 44 of African Americans who recently bought cellphones chose smartphones.
The competition between smartphone operating systems is a heated one. When it comes to the installed base (i.e. US mobile consumers who already own smartphones), it is a three-way tie between Blackberry RIM, the smartphone pioneer, Apple's IOS, which revolutionized the smartphone and popularized mobile apps, and Android OS, the operating system created by Google which has been taking the market by storm.
Analyzing the preferences of those who purchased a smartphone in the past six months paints a different picture, however, one in which Android is clearly in the lead with 43% of recent acquirers purchasing an Android device, compared to 26% for Apple iOS and 20% for Blackberry RIM.
Apple's iOs is the favorite among US smartphone owners who are Asians/Pacific Islanders. Thirty-six percent of Asian/Pacific Islander who own smartphones have iPhones. On the other hand, RIM Blackberry is preferred by 31% of African-American smartphone owners. (Nielsen, February 2011)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:43