comScore has released its 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report that examines the mobile and connected devices' landscape. The report clearly shows how mobile devices have changed the patterns that we have been following to consume digital content. It does so by exploring the key trends that have driven the adoption of mobile media usage in several categories like social networking, retail, mobile ecosystem dynamics and also shifts in multi-device digital media consumption in 2011. It shows an increase in the use of mobile apps, e-shopping and social network access using smartphones and a swift increase in the number of tablet users.

MNP woes! (Image credit: Getty Images)

Web access has goes mobile (Image credit: Getty Images)

Firstly and not-so-surprisingly, the number of users adopting smartphones has seen a rise – 42 percent in the U.S. and 44 percent in EU5, comprising France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. The use of mobile media for browsing the web and downloading content has also seen growth due to the increasing availability of public Wi-Fi. While Android and iOS have geared up to woo audiences, they form a major share in the U.S., the EU5 shows Android with significant gains, unseating market leader Symbian in 3 out of the 5 European markets. 

2011 proved to be a groundbreaking year for the mobile industry, with smartphones hitting the mainstream, tablets emerging as a formidable fourth screen, and consumers increasingly integrating mobile behaviors into their lifestyles. As the industry continues to innovate and more consumers look to multiple devices and platforms to consume digital media, we expect the mobile and connected device landscape to be shaken up even further in 2012,” said Mark Donovan, comScore Senior Vice President of Mobile. “As mobile channels present a more personal, social, and ubiquitous experience to consumers, advertisers and publishers have an opportunity to better engage target audiences, given an understanding of how to connect and leverage the unique characteristics of these emerging platforms.

Another aspect is the growing use of mobile apps, compared to mobile browsers in the U.S. and in the UK. However, there are a considerable number of users accessing both mobile apps and browsers. More than half of the U.S. smartphone population use the device for retail research while inside a store in 2011, showing how savvy smartphone shoppers bring online shopping behaviours in-store –  this is a growing trend in other markets too. 1 out of 5 smartphone users scanned product barcodes and nearly 1 in 8 compared prices on their phone, while in a store, by the end of 2011.

64.2 million U.S. users and 48.4 million EU5 users have accessed social networking sites or blogs on their smartphones, at least once in December 2011. Tablets were also quick at getting popular in 2011. It took less than two years to account for nearly 40 million tablets in use among U.S. mobile users outpacing smartphones, which took 7 years to reach the same. The end of 2011 showed that about 15 percent of U.S. mobile users also had tablets, which again is a trend seen in other markets, too.

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