Industry Stats — Mobile Highlights

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Smartphone Adoption Rises Sharply

comScore’s recent report on the mobile market in the US, Europe (EU5), and Japan (“The 2010 Mobile Year In Review”) called 2010 “a game-changing year for the mobile industry.” The rate of adoption of smartphones jumped in both the US and Europe in 2010, with more than one-fourth (27%) of mobile subscribers in the US, and 31% of European mobile subscribers, reporting their use. This is an increase of nearly 10 percentage points in each locale. As smartphone adoption grows, opportunities for retail and advertising will continue to shift to this sector.

US Marketers Poised to Expand Mobile Marketing

A March 2011 poll released by Forrester Research revealed that a little more than 40% of those surveyed (base: 252 US interactive marketing professionals) are already using some type of mobile marketing in their business. Over the next year, another 35% indicated that they plan to expand into the mobile market. Even if the final numbers fall short of this speculation, it is likely that more than half of US marketers will include some kind of mobile marketing as a part of their business plans.

Privacy Concerns Rise Over Mobile

The platform may change, but some things stay the same. In a recent survey, TRUSTe and Harris Interactive discovered that the majority have significant concerns relating to privacy (38%) and security (26%) while using mobile devices. Other issues identified were related to identity (19%) and sharing (14%). Almost three-fourths of those surveyed stated that they don’t like being tracked by advertisers while on their mobile phones. It is likely that privacy concerns will grow as businesses increasingly expand to the mobile platform.

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?

The Etailing Group’s “10th Annual Merchant Survey 1st Quarter 2011″ revealed that just under half (49%) of the 200 merchants surveyed believe in the importance of mobile initiatives in achieving their strategic goals. This figure represents a significant increase from 2010, when 23% felt that way. Still, the amounts of money that those surveyed expect to invest in mobile commerce in 2011 remains relatively small, with almost 4 in 10 (39%) planning on a stake of $25,000 or less, while 22% do not plan expenditures in this area in 2011.

On the other hand, there appears to be no lack of money for development and expansion of the mobile space, with the investment of venture capital booming. A report released by Rutberg & Company indicated that in 2010, 34% of all tech venture capital was earmarked for mobile. Although only 9 companies were the recipients of more than one-third of the total deal value, the average value per deal overall was more than $9.3 million. Of interest is that consumer mobile apps counted for almost one-tenth (9.8%) of the entire 2010 investment for a dollar value of $601.6 million.

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