If the sight of people obsessively using mobile devices everywhere you go isn’t enough to convince you, back-to- back three-month studies conducted by comScore, Inc. now show increases in nearly all types of mobile activity, from communicating to gaming. Moreover, the report—the result of surveying more than 30,000 mobile phone users—identified a few key trends in the kinds of devices and platforms US mobile subscribers prefer.
First, let’s take a look at the technology side. When compared to March, April and May of this year, the three following months ending in August found Samsung holding steady as the number one handset manufacturer, with more than one-quarter of American users. LG held onto second place, but dropped nearly a full percent (from 19.1 to 18.2 percent), while the number of users for third-ranked Apple rose from 15.0 to 17.1 percent. Motorola and HTC rounded out the top five OEMs at slightly more than 11 and 6 percent respectively.
Smartphone ownership grew 6 percent between the study that ended in May and the one that wrapped up in August. Google Android clearly dominates the field as far as the most-used smartphone platform, with more than half the total market share. Apple, however, gained the most ground over the same time period, increasing its share of the smartphone platform market by 2.4 percent, and it is now used by more than one-third of all smartphone owners. RIM, Microsoft and Symbian all saw decreases in this category during the same time frame.
comScore’s study also revealed what people are using their mobile devices for:
- More than three-quarters of those surveyed have sent text messages with their phones, a percentage that remained stable between the first three month study and the second.
- One-third of respondents have used their phones to play games –another finding that remained virtually unchanged since the prior report.
- The percent of people who listen to music on their phones grew somewhat, from 27.0 to 28.3 percent.
- The percentage of people who accessed social media or blogs via their phones also grew, by 1.6 percent, to 38.3 percent of all respondents.
Perhaps most significant of all, more than half of all mobile phone subscribers used their phones to access their browser or download an app. Furthermore, the percentages of people using these functions increased between the first and second studies by more than 2 percent—a compelling number when you consider overall smartphone ownership is also on the rise.
Reports like this one are more proof that mobile is now a critical component of the marketing mix. Of course, technology and innovation will continue to reshape the way we interact with consumers, but ultimately, we’re headed toward multi-channel convergence with mobile devices as the linchpin.