2010 was an exciting year for the mobile device industry, and 2011 is shaping up to bring us even more interesting new ways we interact with our mobile phones. One of the most considerable and conspicuous developments has been the rapid adoption of smartphones. While only 17% of mobile subscribers were using smartphones in December of 2009, this number jumped to 27% in December of 2010. This doesn’t seem to be an unpredictable trend, either. A recent study of new phone purchases shows that the percentage of smartphone users will continue to escalate: the study showed that 41% of new mobile phone purchases were smartphones. Future generations are clearly becoming more accustomed to smartphones as well. With 33% of “young mobile users” owning smartphones, mobile phone expectations will be drastically different in the next few decades.
Here are some items of note from comScores’ 2010 Mobile Year in Review (full report).
- Over the past year the number of mobile users that accessed a social networking site at least once a month via their mobile device increased by 56 percent to nearly 58 million users in the U.S. Even stronger growth occurred in Europe, with a 75-percent increase in the number of users over the last year to 42 million in December 2010.
- 36 percent of mobile Americans and 29 percent of Europeans browsed the mobile web in December 2010, with access through an application reaching 34 percent of Americans and 28 percent of Europeans. Across regions, mobile browsing and application usage is growing in the range of 7-9 percentage points per year.
- Smartphone adoption accelerated in both the U.S. and Europe. U.S. smartphone adoption reached 27 percent of mobile subscribers in December 2010, an increase of 10 percentage points from the previous year, while European adoption reached 31 percent, also up nearly 10 points versus year ago
Looking at the data, rapid pace of mobile adoption is hard to miss. “2010 was a game-changing year for the mobile industry,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “Smartphone adoption, 3G penetration and unlimited data plans drove a surge of mobile media consumption across geographies and deepened the integration of mobile devices into everyday life. And, the coming year has the potential to be even more exciting. As the mobile ecosystem continues to develop, including progress in mobile advertising and commerce, it’s clear that mobile is destined to become an increasingly important platform for digital marketers across all industries.