Google research shows that more than 50% of the population in Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) use smartphones. This compares with more than 40% of the population in United States, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
Smartphone growth is global. It's no surprise that consumers in China, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE engage with mobile more frequently as it has become easier to gain access to newer technologies, moving toward the need for more information. Research from Google has shown that people in these countries are the biggest information-seekers, with 68% of smartphone users in China, 73% in Saudi Arabia and 72% in Argentina searching on their mobile device daily.
Interesting to note that consumers in Egypt and Brazil are among the heaviest social networkers. Ninety-one percent and 88% of smartphone users, respectively, and 59% of smartphone owners in China have made a purchase on their device -- the highest among all countries in this study. The site Our Mobile Planet allows marketers to visualize the growth.
Google commissioned Ipsos MediaCT to conduct the research and make it available, along with the Mobile Marketing Association and the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Supporting that research related to growth, Google -- along with partners Visa and Samsung -- will launch Android-based phones supporting near field communication (NFC) for the London Olympics. The technology will support check-in and electronic payments through Google Wallet in an effort to reduce credit card fraud by 80%, according to Global Equity Research.
Last week, Samsung Electronics and Visa reported that the Samsung GALAXY S III, the latest in smartphones, will become Samsung’s Olympic Games Phone during the London 2012 Games.
Global Equity Research Managing Director Trip Chowdhry believes Apple and Google will share 95% of the mobile market, with the remaining percentage owned by Microsoft Windows and Research In Motion. In a research note he wrote that "developer interest in Windows Phone is almost non-existent."
It will be interesting to see whether Windows takes more market share as Windows 8 becomes available for desktop and tablets, which will make consumers more comfortable with a similar interface for phones.