We have seen that the mobile industry is on a fast-track, with massive growth in mobile marketing, advertising and paid-content for users. But what is really leading this growth is the increase in quality devices and fast, affordable data. While smartphone ownership was once just a business tool, more consumers than ever are using smartphones in their everyday lives. In the past year alone, the total number of smartphone subscribers increased 72 percent quarter-over-quarter, growing from 15 million subscribers in Q2 2008 to 26 million in Q2 2009. While the penetration level of smartphone users is still fairly low — nearly 17 percent in Q2 2009 — they make up half of the mobile Web audience.
Italy Leads in Smartphone Adoption
Despite America's reputation as a nation of big talkers — the U.S. is not setting the pace in smartphone adoption — ranking third when ranked by penetration. Italy has the largest percentage of smartphone owners at 28 percent, while Spain is not far behind with 23 percent. France has the most room to grow, with an 11 percent penetration level.
Smartphone Gender Gap Continues
With the continued expansion of smartphone ownership in the U.S. and the availability of more affordable devices, the market is opening up to a wider range of consumers. However, we continue to see similar demographic profiles for smartphone owners as we did a year ago. While smartphone usage is shifting from purely business use to both personal and business use, owners are still more than two times as likely to own a smartphone for business usage only. Smartphone owners continue to be predominantly male, are 65 percent more likely than the average mobile subscriber to be between the ages of 25 and 34, and nearly two times as likely to make more than $100,000 a year.
So while more people are buying smartphones and penetration levels are increasing, the demographics are not significantly changing yet. There is a lot of untapped potential available to marketers to reach a whole new generation of smartphone users. Is your mobile marketing strategy as smart as your phone?
— Nielsen Business Media