The mobile market is probably one of the fastest growing (and changing) areas of online social communication today. Yesterday, I listened in on ComScore’s State of the Internet in the US, Q3, and the mobile story continues to evolve. According to the report, the number of people using their phones just to make phone calls has declined by 15% over last July and 70% say they use their phone for more than calls. The number of people that use their phone for mobile media is 40.7%, up nearly 7% over last year. Search, email and social networking were the top genres for people using their phones to access the Internet.
While many communicators are now laser focused on social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter and blogs, few are looking at the impact of mobile and how it will completely change communication with statkeholders like customers, donors, etc.
Certainly mobile devices continue to mature at a rapid rate. And with the advent of HTML5, a richer web can be designed for mobile devices, like smartphones and tablet devices such as the iPad and the newly touted Android answer, the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Moreover, there is an interest in tying the social efforts back to the website for conversion, however you might define that within your own organization.
Most exciting news, for me anyway, is the the iPhone continues to lose its overwhelming dominance. And mobile smart phone platforms, such as Google Android and LG phones continue to gain market share. Android surpassed the iPhone earlier this year. I am quite happy about that given Apples attitude and culture have been so closed, they need some competition, and the new version of Android Gingerbread for tablets is due out in early 2011.
The Holy Grail, Women
One of the most interesting parts of the presentation for me was the gender split of smartphone ownership. Women are a highly sought-after demo for many companies, and they are adopting smartphones in a big way. And according to the ComScore graphic below, they like LG, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola and Android even more than iPhone. That wasn’t always the case. Thanks to Omar Gallaga, blogger, Austin American Statesman tech culture journalist and contributor on NPR's All Tech Considered, I was able to get ahold of this mobile phone study from AdMob (recently acquired by Google to get to its advertising platform) that shows Android phone owners skewed 73% male according as early as this past February and iPhone was 57% male.
While this chart doesn’t show the actual numbers, LG, Android and Samsung device owners are skewing younger and have an even gender split, while iPhone, and RIM are older and more male. Certainly Android has made huge jumps in female ownership since early in the year. And while it is anecdotal, I bought my HTC EVO from Sprint this past summer and am loving it. At any rate, if you are aiming for a female audience for your mobile marketing, you have to go beyond developing an iPhone application and calling it a day (see HTML5 discussion above).
You can download the ComScore State of the Internet in the US, Q3, at the link to read a lot more and see the graphics more clearly. What do you think about the role of mobile for communicators? Do you have any ideas about how to take advantage of the burgeoning mobile market?