2012 was another milestone year in the life of mobile as continued innovation in hardware, software and device functionality lays the groundwork for the future of the industry. Smartphones and tablets are ushering in a new era of multi-platform media, with consumers becoming increasingly agnostic about how, when and where they engage with content. This report will examine how these rapidly changing market dynamics have shaped the current U.S. and international mobile marketplaces, and what these changes mean for the coming year as comScore helps bring the mobile future into focus.
Key insights from the 2013 Mobile Future in Focus include:
The U.S. smartphone market finally surpassed 50 percent market penetration and now enters the “late majority” stage of the technology adoption curve. The number of smartphone subscribers has increased 29 percent from a year ago and 99 percent from two years ago.
Google’s Android OS, which has been adopted by multiple OEMs, and Apple’s iOS, which is carried exclusively on iPhones, have come to dominate the U.S. smartphone landscape with nearly 90 percent of the market today.
Apple continues to gain ground as the leading U.S. smartphone OEM, but Samsung has seen the most explosive growth in this market over the past couple of years with a year-over-year increase of more than 100 percent and a two-year increase of more than 400 percent.
The improved availability of high-speed Internet access has significantly enhanced the average user’s media consumption experience, contributing to a rapid uptick in mobile media consumption. Default Wi-Fi accessibility for smartphones and tablets has not only off-loaded bandwidth from networks, but has also contributed to a better on-premise (e.g. in-home) browsing experience for users.
Smartphones have surpassed 125 million U.S. consumers and tablets are now owned by more than 50 million. We have now crossed into the Brave New Digital World – a new paradigm of digital media fragmentation in which consumers are always connected.