The trend of the move to smartphones in the U.S. continues, with penetration now reaching 30%, based on the latest data from comScore. The research firm found that 234 million Americans 13 years or older use mobile phones, with 69.5 million of them owning a smartphone.
This is not a surprise, considering the increasing capabilities of smartphones. We still expect the penetration of these devices in the U.S. to be around 50% by the end of this year. This has many implications for marketers, since the market then will be split with half owning smartphones and half not.
This of course means that half the market can use apps, and half can’t. About all can send and receive text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages, and web access will increase. And then there are the platforms.
The comScore findings, based on a large sample of more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers, shows Google’s Android operating system with exactly a third (33%) market share, followed by Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry with 29% and Apple at a quarter (25%) of the market. And the apps-rich Android and Apple environments continue to gain share while RIM’s declines.
The issue for marketers here is that the behaviors of users of phones on different platforms are different, as several studies have shown. Some companies we speak with don’t even know what types of operating systems their best customers are using.
One of the key drivers of the conversion to smartphones is behavioral—the actual activities that people are doing with mobile phones. Mobile phone users are texting (69%), browsing the web (38%), using apps (37%), accessing social networks (27%), playing games (25%), and listening to music (18%), according to the comScore study. And every one of these activities increased from the previous three months. We expect these types of mobile behaviors to continue to increase as more people move to smartphones and more features and capabilities continue to be added by the mobile industry.
The consumers are there, as is the mobile industry. Still missing from the mix are many companies not yet committing the necessary resources to mobile, mobile marketing, and mobile social marketing. Is your business sitting out the mobile revolution?