A decade ago, we used our mobile phones to make phone calls and perhaps to send text messages. Some advanced users checked their email and maybe did occasional tasks online.
Smartphones and tablets have changed these habits dramatically. But how, exactly?
In a special report just out from BI Intelligence, we ask and answer that very question.
In full, the report looks at:
- Games: Along with social networking, it is the largest category of daily app consumption. According to comScore, the percentage of all U.S. mobile users that have played games on their phones increased from 21% in September 2009 to to 34% in May. Significantly, many people playing games on their phones aren’t “traditional” gamers.
- Social Networking: The other leading category in daily app consumption, social networking made the biggest one-year jump in daily time spent. The percentage of all U.S mobile users that accessed a social network on their phone rose from 14% in September 2009 to 37% in May.
- Email, Weather, Maps, Search: These are services that consumers use on the desktop, but which are being used more because of greater access. As of May, comScore reports that 78% of all U.S. smartphone owners have accessed email on their phone, 66% checked the weather, 58% used a search engine, and 52% looked at maps. This is fundamentally changing the business of companies who provide these services.
- Mobile Commerce: Mobile is driving an increasingly large share of traffic to ecommerce sites. Forrester Research forecasts U.S. mobile commerce to hit $10 billion this year, up from $6 billion in 2010.
- Marketing: Since many consumers access email mainly through their phones, mobile has become an important marketing channel.
- Research: Mobile shoppers are likely to use their phones in-store to compare prices and consult on potential purchases with friends. According to Nielsen, 89% of smartphone owners have used their phone while shopping in stores, sometimes to scan bar codes or actually pay for products.
- In-Store Payments: Consumers are beginning to make payments directly with their phones. According to Nielsen, 9% of mobile shoppers have paid for goods or services at point of sale.
- Browsers: According to comScore, the percentage of all U.S. mobile users accessing a mobile browser increased from 29 per cent in February 2010 to 50 per cent in May.
- Apps: Consumers spend way more time on apps (and it keeps rising). The most time-consuming mobile activities — such as games, social networks, or music — are usually accessed through apps.
- Books: Digital consumers read more books a year on average than their print-only counterparts.
- Music. Smartphones also double as MP3 players, so naturally they increase music listening. According to comScore, the percentage of all U.S. mobile users listening to music on their phones increased from 12% in September 2009 to 27% in May.
- News: Mobile readers go to news sites more often, spend more time per visit, and read more articles per visit than desktop users. According to Nielsen, almost 60% of smartphone and tablet owners access the news on their devices.
- Video: Tablets offer a better video experience, but consumers watch video on their smartphones too. It isn’t just YouTube—users are increasingly watching long-form video content as well.
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