Report Says 19% of US Now Using Smartphones
Research firm the Kelsey Group has released its second annual "Mobile Market View" report. They found that 18.9 percent of U.S. mobile consumers now use a smartphone, and among those surveyed, 49% plan to purchase an advanced mobile device within the next two years.
The report also found a healthy growth rate for mobile Internet usage. Their data showed the percentage of mobile users who access the Internet from their mobile devices increased from 32.4 percent in 2007 to 38.9 percent in 2008, an annual growth rate of 20 percent.
"We believe the introduction of more user-friendly smartphones is ushering in a new mobile paradigm where devices now offer an Internet experience that is as easy as traditional voice connectivity," said Matt Booth, senior vice president and program director, Interactive Local Media, The Kelsey Group. "The implication is that users will increasingly turn to their smartphones for local commercial and social search experiences, and the data certainly suggest this is already happening."
Corresponding with the rapid consumer adoption of smartphones is a marked increase in the level of mobile search activity. According to the Mobile Market View study, mobile consumers performed the following activities using their mobile devices during the past six months:
- Downloaded or looked at maps or directions: 17.6 percent, up from 10.8 percent in 2007
- Searched the Internet for products or services in their local area: 15.6 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2007
- Searched the Internet for products or services outside their local area: 14.3 percent, up from 6.4 percent in 2007
- Obtained information about movies or other entertainment: 13.7 percent, up from 8.2 percent in 2007
- Connected with a social network, such as MySpace or Facebook: 9.6 percent, up from 3.4 percent in 2007
"We are seeing a qualitative difference in consumer usage of mobile phones, particularly with the energetic uptake of smartphones," said Steve Marshall, director of research and consulting, The Kelsey Group. "The aggressive projections about mobile are approaching reality, as smartphones are now becoming mainstream platforms for commercial usage."
Mobile Market View is a tracking study of mobile user behavior conducted by The Kelsey Group and research partner ConStat. The second wave of the study was conducted in October 2008 via an online 39-question survey of 512 U.S. mobile phone users aged 18 and older.
Thanks to MobileCrunch for the tip.