By now, you’ve probably seen the MorganStanley graphic that shows mobile Internet users surpassing desktop users by 2014. The mobile train has arrived and it’s blowing right through the station, but how much do you actually know about your growing mobile audience?
When it comes to mobile research, one can easily blink and miss the double-digit growth trend of the day. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some current research to get a clearer picture of today’s mobile user.
Starting with a few things you may already suspect, Pew Internet’s research suggests that a U.S. smartphone owner is most likely male (although the split is pretty close), is under the age of 49, has a household income above $50k, has attended some college and lives in a suburban or urban area.
The same study found that there wasn’t a statistically significant difference in mobile Internet usage between whites and minorities. On top of that, smartphone penetration was reported to be 49% among African-Americans as well as Latinos, just slightly ahead of the national average of 46%.
They’re not as young (or old) as you think
While U.S. smartphone ownership skews toward the 25-55 age group, eMarketer predicts that more than half of those in the 12-17 and 45-64 age groups will own smartphones by 2014. But are they really using them, you ask? You bet they are – according to Nielsen, data consumption among those in the 65+ age group increased by 133% from Q3 2010 to Q3 2011, while the 13-17 age group saw an enormous gain of 256%!
They’re not all using iPhones
A comScore survey from Q1 2012 found that Google holds a commanding lead among smartphone platforms with a 51% share in the U.S., while Apple came in second at 30.7%. Additionally, Samsung was ranked as the top mobile device manufacturer at 26%, followed by LG at 19.3% and Apple at 14%.
They love games, but social networking has caught up
Mobile app analytics provider Flurry found that in Q1 2012, consumers spent 77 minutes per day with smartphone apps. Since Flurry began tracking, app users have always spent most of their time with games. However, in the last quarter they saw a major upset, with games and social networking in a dead tie at 24 minutes each. This represents a 60% increase for social networking over the year prior!
Mobile is worldwide, baby!
Mobile traffic as a percentage of total worldwide web traffic stands at about 10% according to research conducted by Pingdom earlier this month. However, you may be surprised to learn that the countries with the highest percentage of mobile web traffic are located in Asia and Africa, with over half of the web traffic from Nigeria and Zimbabwe coming from mobile!
Whether you’re preparing to build a mobile web site or launching your 15th SMS campaign, it’s important that you know your audience well. Have you made any surprising discoveries about your mobile audience? Let us know in the comments!
About the Author: Cory Gaddis is a regular contributor to the 60 Second Marketer and helpsMobilize Worldwide create mobile marketing campaigns for a wide variety of clients.