VIVA’s State of the Mobile Web: a Brief History

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We love our mobile phones. We always have them with us. We feel we can’t live without them, and with the way the new smartphones are wedging their usefulness into every aspect of our lives, we likely will become much more dependent on them in the near future.

The mobile web is booming.

A Nielsen Mobile study in July 2008 found some interesting data, that will provide a nice baseline for today’s analysis [1]:
  • 40 million mobile subscribers in the US surf the web through a mobile phone each month—checking email, exploring their social networks, making bank transactions and engaging in other web activities right from their hands
  • 15.6 percent of mobile subscribers in the US actively use the mobile Internet
  • As of May 2008, there were 40 million active users of the mobile Internet in the US, with individual sites that attract millions of unique users. This provides scalable marketing potential with demographic breadth.
  • Unlimited data packages are an important part of the growth of the mobile Internet and are increasingly popular with US consumers. Today 14 percent of US wireless subscribers have unlimited data packages, and 50 percent of data users say they would prefer to have such a package
  • 3G networks are greatly improving the quality of the mobile Internet experience and will help drive customer satisfaction with mobile Internet. 3G networks perform up to six times faster on data throughputs used for mobile Internet than 2G and 2.5G networks
  • As mobile Internet publishers build out an advertising inventory, advertising is becoming a common part of the mobile Internet experience: 26 percent of mobile Internet users recall seeing some form of advertising while using the mobile Internet. Mobile Internet users are 60% more likely to be open to mobile advertising than the average mobile data user

Insights provided by Millennial Media Research May 2010 Mobile Mix [2]:

  • Android’s OS impression share increased 5% and represented 15% of impressions in our U.S. Smartphone OS Mix in May. Android’s OS is the third largest operating system in the OS mix for the third consecutive month (see Chart below)
  • RIM [BlackBerry] remained the second largest OS on our network for the tenth consecutive month with nearly a 3% increase month-over-month and a 19% share of impressions (see Chart below)
  • Although the Apple OS had a month-over-month decrease of nearly 14%, it remained the leading OS on out network in May with a 48% share of Smartphone impressions

quotedAlthough growth in application usage on Smartphones continues to grab the spotlight in the mobile market, the audience using their mobile browser remains larger and is growing just as quickly. ~Mark Donovan, comScore’s SVP of mobile, June 2010. [3]

It’s not just the smartphone brand, there’s also a diverse market of Operating Systems as well as Mobile Browsers. From Safari for the Apple iOS to IE Mobile, having your content display consistently is remaining a difficult thing to accomplish.

quotedIn October, Opera Mini had over 76.3 million users, a 7.1% increase from September 2010 and up more than 92% compared to October 2009. Even more impressive, Opera Mini users viewed over 41.6 billion pages in October 2010, representing an increase of 142% since last October. In terms of data, which I always find the most interesting, the company claims users generated over 616 million MBs of data for operators worldwide — up 15.1% since September and up 134% since last year. Since data is compressed up to 90%, the company claims users would have viewed over 5.7 petabytes of data in October [4]

A Whitepaper by Kinesis Survey Technologies: The Mobile Survey Landscape - Today and Tomorrow, published in January 2011, provided some intriguing data [5]:

  • People love their mobile phones. Use of – and dependence on – these small, self-contained devices is steadily growing along with the mobile technology that powers them. As mobile phones, and in particular smartphones, get faster, smaller and more capable, mobile Internet traffic is also steadily increasing as an alternative to the traditionally PC-based web. U.S. smartphone penetration was at 23 percent in 2Q 20101, and U.S. mobile Internet users have grown from 50.9 million (16.7 percent of the population) in 2008 to 85.5 million (27.6 percent) this year.
  • Mobile Internet usage is projected to increase to 101.1 million users (32.3 percent of the population) in 20113, thus continuing the rapid growth trend seen in the last few years. In fact, more users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs in as few as five years.

Local Intent: Looking to spend money where they are

quotedSpeaking at a Mobile Marketing & Advertising event in Las Vegas to coincide with CTIA Wireless 2010, Diana Pouliot – director of mobile advertising at Google – revealed that one-third of all Google searches via the mobile web pertain to some aspect of the searcher’s local environment.?
The mobile industry seems to concur, as some analysts now project that location-based mobile spending will top $4 billion in 2015. That’s a mind-blowing increase from the relatively paltry $34 million spent just last year. [6]

How can it help your business?


[1] July 2008 - Critical Mass: The Worldwide State of the Mobile Web - Nielsen Mobile
[2] Millennial Media - May 2010 Mobile Mix
[3] Mark Donovan, comScore’s SVP of mobile, June 2010

[4] Opera Mini Grows 92% Since Last Year, Users View Over 41.6B Pages Last Month Alone
[5] Whitepaper: The Mobile Survey Landscape - Today and Tomorrow
Kinesis Survey Technologies
[6] Google local intent behind 33% of searches

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Nilda Nilda
This site seems to recieve a large aonummt of visitors. How do you get traffic to it? It gives a nice individual spin on things. I guess having something useful or substantial to post about is the most important thing.
Anandhu Anandhu
Excellent article and easy to ednurstand explanation. How do I go about getting permission to post part of the article in my upcoming news letter? Giving proper credit to you the author and link to the site would not be a problem.
Shermaine Shermaine
Cheers pal. I do appreiacte the writing.
Denisha Denisha
Check that off the list of tihngs I was confused about.
Stormy Stormy
Way to go on this essay, hpeled a ton.

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