Smartphone adoption is widespread globally and contributes to the significant increase in mobile media usage, according to the new “ComScore 2012 Mobile Future in Focus” report.
The smartphone adoption is especially high in the U.S and EU5, which comprises France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, at 42 percent and 44 percent, respectively. Besides this device, 3G/4G networks and a growing number of Wi-Fi hotspots are also drivers to a rise in mobile media consumption, and helped mobile online activities surpass the 50-percent threshold in many markets, MSN Money reported.
comScore also pointed out the intense smartphone platform war between Android and Apple. In U.S., Android was just a few points shy of capturing half of the market in 2011, while iOS made up nearly 30 percent. In the EU5, Android also had significant gains, beating market leader Symbian in three out of the five markets measured.
In terms of mobile activities, the growth in mobile app use surpassed that in mobile browser use in both U.S. and EU5, which means both markets saw the same percentage of their audiences using both apps and browsers to access mobile media. The fastest growing mobile media category was health in U.S. in 2011, followed by retail and other commerce-related categories, gigaom reported.
QR codes and barcodes also gained its audience base as consumers sought real-time product reviews and other information on their mobile devices. According to comScore, in 2011, one out of five consumers scanned product codes and one out of eight compared prices while shopping in a store.
Mobile devices also boost social networking on-the-go, and drove real-time online interaction. comScore said that 64.2 million smartphone users in U.S. and 48.4 million in the EU5 accessed social networking sites or blogs on their phones at least once in December 2011, and more than half of these mobile social networking users access it on a daily basis. The study also found more than half of those in U.S. and about 50 percent in the EU5 also read posts from brands, organizations, and events while they access social networking sites on mobile devices.
Moreover, tablets prospered quickly in 2011 – It took less than two years to reach nearly 40 million in use among U.S. mobile users, which outpaced smartphones which took 7 years to reach the same. By the end of 2011, almost 15 percent of mobile users in U.S. had tablets – a trend seen across other markets as well, comScore reported.