Last week, comScore released its quarterly mobile trends report, and the findings revealed some interesting takeaways related directly to our business.
The number of U.S. smartphone subscribers – those most likely to take advantage of our industry’s mobile directories and location-based apps – continues to rise at a rapid pace. Approximately 78.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending June 2011, up 8% from the preceding three month period.
Google Android, the most popular smartphone platform, continues to gain market share. Today, 2 in 5 smartphone subscribers (40.1% share) use Google Android, up 5.4% from the prior reporting period. Apple strengthened its #2 position with 26.6% share of the smartphone market, up 1.1%. RIM (Blackberry) ranked third with 23.4% share, down 3.7%. Microsoft (5.8%) and Symbian (2%) rounded out the top five, both down as well.
On a related note, a new study from Jumptap, a mobile ad network, found that smartphone platform use varies by geography. The study showed that consumers with Apple’s iPhone tend to congregate in the Northwest and Midwest, while Google Android users are more likely to be found in the South and Southwest. BlackBerry is dominant in a handful of states, including New York.
With the smartphone market growing fast – and ongoing shifts taking place in the different mobile platforms consumers are using (and where they are using them) – our industry needs to remain agile, and create and adapt future offerings to take advantage of areas of growth.
As our 2011 State of Local Search study showed, there is an expanding appetite for local content among mobile subscribers, with more than 77 million mobile subscribers now access local content on their mobile devices. The time is now to build offerings that will help local business advertisers reach this significant audience wherever and however they are searching via mobile.