According to a recent online global survey by IDG of almost 13,700 participants in Europe, North America, Asia and China, smartphones are rapidly replacing traditional cell phones. 73 percent of survey participants worldwide said they use a smartphone for personal and 69 percent for business.
According to a June 2011 report from The International Data Corporation, the worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow by 55 percent this year with 472 million phones expected to be shipped in 2011.
The top smartphone brands remain Apple, Blackberry, Nokia and Sony Ericsson, but IDC predicts the Android operating system to own 40 percent of the market in the second half of 2011, posing a threat to Apple, Nokia and Blackberry.
In business and personal use of smartphones, Nokia and Apple are top sellers in Europe. In the US, Apple is only slightly ahead of Blackberry, with a 29-to-26 percent advantage. Samsung is second to Apple for personal use, at 15 compared to 33 percent.
The IDG survey shows 70 percent of users regularly browsing the Internet and using mobile apps. Top mobile sites visited are general and IT news, followed by social networking sites. Regarding other smartphone features, mobile GPS navigation usage ranks higher than instant messaging applications, due to geolocation use for vouchers mainly in China, Brazil, Italy and US.
App vendors are in luck with the majority of downloaders saying they pay for apps. Two-thirds of survey participants use one to seven apps centered around news, social media, gaming and IT news.
“The dramatic growth in smartphone and tablet use is exciting news for media companies as their audiences can browse the Internet and engage with brands 24/7,” said Christina Carstensen, director, Mobile Strategy, IGS in London.
Tablets are set to take off this year with 20 percent of survey participants already owning a tablet, and 67 percent planning to buy one in the next twelve months.
Apple still holds 80 percent of the market share for tablets, followed by Samsung Galaxy with 9 percent worldwide. The study shows tablets are being used for web browsing 93 percent of the time, followed by email, mobile apps, video watching and reading of publications. Sharing brings down the ownership figure for tablets, as 67 percent say they share their device with colleagues or family.
“I expect spending on mobile to rise sharply in the coming year, much like what happened with social media marketing over the past two years,” said Matthew Yorke, president, IGS.