Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Smartphones are Taking Over

It's not a secret. Smartphones are EVERYWHERE! I (and others) have been singing that tune for a while.

This week, research firm NielsenWire reported "Smartphones to Overtake Feature Phones in U.S. by 2011."

According to specific statistics:

"the share of smartphones as a proportion of overall device sales has increased to 29% for phone purchasers in the last six months and 45% of respondents to a Nielsen survey indicated that their next device will be a smartphone."

Other useful stats:
- 81% of smartphone owners are satisfied with their device; only 66% of feature-phone owners are satisfied with theirs.
- 50% of smartphone users utilize their phone's Wi-Fi to satisfy the need for fast downloads; this is 10-times the percentage of feature phone owners using Wi-Fi on their phones.
- The percentage of people who use their phone for only voice communications drops from 14% among new feature phone owners to 3% of smartphone owners.


In an analysis of the research on Enterprise Mobility Today, Andy Patrizio writes:

"For the most part, Nielsen attributes the shift to smartphones to a groundswell of new smartphone devices, in particular the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android phones, plus an 'explosion' of new applications for them and the significant and continued decrease in the prices of those phones and carriers' data plans."

The smartphone revolution is upon us, now let's talk about the traffic demands of all those users.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Growth of Mobile traffic by OS

This week Gizmodo published the latest data from Admob. [Ed note: It seems that Admod has become the de facto tracker for mobile data]. The chart, from Admob, is very telling:


First, this is traffic in the US. So the iPhone chart is particularly impressive because it's one device on one operator's network. Look out when the iPhone goes CDMA...

Second, I think the spike in Android tracks tothe launch of the Droid phone on Verizon in Q4 2009. Certainly growth in Android traffic was trending up nicely through the first three quarters of 2009, based primarily on the MyTouch from T-Mobile, but there is a definite acceleration of traffic in Q4.

Third, I think it's a bit depressing to see the RIM, webOS and WinMo numbers. These are all good products/technologies, but I think it highlights the emerging split between 'smartphone' and 'web phone'.

Finally, while this is an absolute market share chart, it doesn't capture the overall market growth in traffic. At what rate are these number accelerating? AT&T said traffic on their network was up 5,000% over the last three years. While Android is gaining absolute market share, data traffic in general is skyrocketing and will certainly become an issue for every mobile operator.