It is hard to believe that just 5 years ago, mobile phone’s primary use for making phone calls with some limited SMS and WAP browsing. Smartphone penetration was only 6% in Q2 2007 and market share was led by RIM. Oh how things have changed!Even when the launch of the iPhone in mid-2007, there wasn’t an App Store until a year later. It launched with just 500 apps. In September 2008, Android 1.0 launched. 9 months after launch of apple’s app store, it eclipsed 1 billion downloads. Then we get to the iPad, revolutionizing the tablet market, launching in 2010.The amount of innovation in the past 5 years has been staggering and innovation still continues at a rapid pace
In October 2010, feature phones had a 71% share, Smartphones eclipsed feature phones a few months ago and are now the majority, with a 55% share as of June 2012. Two-thirds of U.S. consumers that purchased a new mobile phone during the second quarter of 2012 opted for a smartphone over a feature phone fueling further growth
So where is that growth coming from? Looking at demographics, smartphone penetration is highest among younger and more affluent population, but has become increasingly more mainstream. Smartphone penetration is about 30% among people ages 55+, but there has been an impressive 51% growth in that demographic in the past 12 months.
Now looking at our usage segmentation by age; 25-44 year olds make up the majority of the heavy app user segment. Comparing to the low usage segment on the left, it isn’t surprising that the 55+ demo make up the biggest share of the ‘light’ user segment. But 25-34 year olds and 35-44 year olds heavily over-index in that high usage segment compared to the average smartphone user.
So how does gender play a role in mobile usage? Looking at the charts on the left, in 2011, you can see that males tend to be earlier adopters compared to females. However, a year later, females are quickly catching up. So as an example, the gender distribution for Google Search skewed more heavily male in 2011 with 58% share and a year later the distribution was more evenly split at nearly 50/50.In addition to that and possibly more importantly - When we segmented iOS users by time spent into 3 segments: high (top 1/3 in terms of time spent duration), medium and low (bottom 1/3); females make up 58% of that heavy user segment. We’ve seen this in our data especially when it comes to social networking and certain gaming apps such as WWF, where females have a much higher time spent than males
How Mobile and Social have changedRecruiting and RetentionSept, 2012