5 Apr 13
New research in the United States demonstrates a significant shift in how consumers are accessing the Internet.
Its findings mirror Horizon's which show smartphone use is now higher than use of standard mobiles for the first time.
The US research findings are said to emphasise the importance of local businesses embracing mobile platforms as yet another way to reach consumers.
Before exploring the latest trends in local mobile engagement specifically, it’s valuable to recognize the rapid growth of mobile and other connected devices and their impact on how consumers are accessing the Internet.
In the third quarter of 2012, the share of smartphones in the U.S. marketplace finally overcame feature phones. This is a major milestone because smartphones provide consumers with easier access to the Web and the ability to use applications, among other advanced features.
Within the U.S. smartphone market, Google and Apple solidified their operating system dominance, with Google’s Android (53.4% market share) and Apple’s iOS (36.3%) representing nearly nine out of 10 smartphones in use at the end of the year. Blackberry lost more than half its market share over the course of 2012, dropping from 16.0% share to 6.4%.
While smartphones reached a majority of the mobile phone market in 2012, the bigger story was multi-device ownership within the mobile space as there is a growing prevalence of other “connected” devices.
In fact, more than one in three (37.3%) of all U.S. smartphone users also owned other connected devices at the end of 2012, including tablets (28.8%), eReaders (10.0%) and other handhelds like portable gaming devices (4.1%). These devices are providing consumers with yet more ways to reach the Internet.
There is a preference among smartphone users to use Apps, rahter than the web, to locate services - which has implications for local directory service providers, like Yellow Pages.
There could be lessons here too for New Zealand's directory services and retailers using them.
The full US survey report is here.