comScore Spotlights 2010 Mobile Growth


 In connection with the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, comScore today issued its first year-in-review report for mobile. That in itself says something about the category's rising profile in the media world. Among the 2010 highlights:

  • Smartphone adoption accelerated in both the U.S. and Europe. U.S. smartphone adoption reached 27% of mobile subscribers as of December, up 10 percentage points from the prior year, while European adoption reached 31%, also up nearly 10 points.

  • Network quality and cost of monthly plan were the top two purchase consideration factors for mobile subscribers in the U.S. and U.K.

  • Nokia was the top manufacturer in the U.K., Germany, Italy and Spain. Samsung took the top spot in the U.S. and France, and also ranked in the top three in the U.K., Germany, Italy and Spain.

  • More than a third (36%) of mobile Americans and 29%  of Europeans browsed the mobile Web in December, with access through an application reaching 34% of Americans and 28% of Europeans. Across regions, mobile browsing and application usage is growing in the range of seven to nine percentage points per year.

  • More than 75% of mobile subscribers in Japan are connected media users (identified as those who used their browser, accessed applications or downloaded content), far exceeding their U.S. and European counterparts. Japan also saw nearly 10% of its mobile audience make a purchase with their mobile wallet in December 2010.

  • The number of mobile users that accessed a social networking site at least once a month via their mobile device in 2010 grew 56%, to nearly 58 million in the U.S., and 75% in Europe, to 42 million.

    So far, uptake of the mobile Web and apps (34.5%) in the U.S. is roughly on par. It will be interesting to see in 2011 if the mobile Web outpaces app growth as HTML5 gains ground as a platform for building mobile Web sites and creating a more user-friendly experience. Both channels are likely to continue growing as smartphone penetration increases this year, with help from the Verizon iPhone and falling devices prices.

    But just because people own smartphones doesn't mean they're using the devices' full capabilities. Research presented by InsightExpress this month found a quarter of smartphone owners don't even view their handsets as smartphones. So making consumers aware of the features a smartphone offers is still part of the equation in driving higher data use. Think of it as developing not just sophisticated mobile tools, but the consumer culture around them as well.

    In that vein, Apple's iPhone commercials in recent years showing how it can be used to do things like get directions, make a dinner reservation or engage in a video chat are probably on the right track. However, making sure the user experience is actually as simple and smooth as it looks on TV is the bigger challenge for device makers, carriers and content providers.
  • Next story loading loading..