Studies: Mobile Search Heats Up As Screens Get Larger


As mobile search continues its rapid growth, it has transformed the ways that people seek and gather information. Thirty-two percent of participants in a Performics study released Monday admit to conducting more searches on mobile devices than by computer. Forty-seven percent said they use mobile search while commuting, 56% while attending social events, 74% while running errands, and 49% make mobile purchases.  

Seventy-five percent of users said mobile search makes their lives easier, and 63% note that access to mobile search has changed the way they gather information.

The 2011 Mobile Search Insights Study from Performics, the performance marketing agency owned by Publicis Groupe, examines differences in mobile search adoption and use across gender and age groups, as well as the differences in mobile search adoption and use across 12 top product categories such as apparel, appliances, automotive, CPG, electronics, financial services, travel and more.



The study focuses on people who use the mobile Web at least weekly. So it's not surprising that 57% use the mobile Web more than once daily, with 77% using mobile search more than five times in the last month.

Most people said they use mobile search at home -- about 81% in the evening -- followed by 80% on the weekend. Sixty-six percent admit to occasional dual-screen multitasking while watching TV. Fifty-nine percent said they use mobile search before going to work, and 61% at work.

The findings not only coincide with Google's self-projected $1 billion mobile advertising business run rate, but also The NPD Group's survey on smartphone purchases.

U.S. consumers want larger screens on their mobile phones, the NPD Group survey confirms. Larger screens will lead to more searches on handheld devices, mainly smartphones. They also will give advertisers more room to take creative liberties with display ads that appear on sites from increased mobile searches.

Smartphones with 4-inch or larger screens have grabbed market share from devices with screen sizes less than 3.5 inches, according to a study released Monday from The NPD Group.

The Samsung Galaxy S, the HTC EVO 4G and the Motorola Droid X, which debuted in Q2 2010, took 24% market share by Q4 2010. The market share for iPhones and other smartphones with screen sizes between 3.5 inches and 3.9 inches rose 2% compared with the year-ago quarter, while market share of smartphones with screens smaller than 3.4 inches declined from 63% in Q4 2009 to 36% in Q4 2010.

Men still make up the largest share of consumers purchasing smartphones with the largest screen sizes, but women are increasingly likely to purchase them. In Q2 2010, 30% of large-screen smartphone purchasers were women, but by Q4 2010 women represented 40% of large-screen smartphone sales, according to The NPD Group.

As a side note, I have to admit the T-Mobile deal makes AT&T service more appealing because it brings in Android-powered phones and 4G LTE service. During the weekend, AT&T reported it would acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. It's time for me to purchase a new smartphone. Any suggestions?

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