|According to the comScore 2013 Mobile Future in Focus report, 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. 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.
The annual report examines the U.S. mobile and connected device landscape in 2012, highlighting trends that have shaped mobile media consumption and shifted market dynamics across mobile networks, platforms, and OEMs.
Mark Donovan, comScore SVP for Mobile, says "... 2012 was a watershed year for mobile, with smartphones surpassing 50 per cent penetration and tablets continuing to gain traction... marketers and media companies are challenged to confront this emerging multi-platform paradigm... "The ensuing report presents a clear view of today's digital landscape, and the rapidly expanding usage of mobile devices, critical to success in the year ahead.
Key insights from the 2013 Mobile Future in Focus include:
With smartphones surpassing 125 million U.S. consumers and tablets now owned by more than 50 million, we have crossed into the Brave New Digital World, says the report, a new paradigm of digital media fragmentation in which consumers are always connected. One out of every three minutes online is now spent on devices beyond the PC
2012 was a milestone year for the U.S. smartphone market as it finally surpassed 50 per cent market penetration and now enters the "late majority" stage of the technology adoption curve. The number of smartphone subscribers has increased 29 per cent from a year ago and 99 per cent from two years ago. 72 per cent of all newly-acquired devices are now smartphones
Google's Android OS, adopted by multiple OEMs, and Apple's iOS, carried exclusively on iPhones, have come to dominate the U.S. smartphone landscape with nearly 90 per cent of the market today. This market share dominance, reinforced by the two platforms' well-developed app ecosystems, makes it even more difficult for the competing platforms to narrow the gap
Apple continues to gain ground as the leading smartphone OEM, but Samsung has seen the most explosive growth in this market over the past two years with a year-over-year increase of more than 100 per cent and a two-year increase of more than 400 per cent. Apple maintains a healthy lead over Samsung, but the gap has been steadily narrowing
Consumers have demonstrated a clear preference for engaging with content on smartphones via apps, which account for 4 out of every 5 mobile minutes, rather than the mobile web.
The dynamics of mobile media consumption are proving different from the traditional web. With the scarcity of app real estate on the smartphone home-screen, consumers are spending more time concentrated on the apps of major media brands rather than with the long tail of brands. Facebook finished the year as the top U.S. smartphone app, followed by five different Google apps, as major media brands dominated the top of the rankings
Many U.S. consumers have come to rely on their smartphones to assist with their in-store shopping, arming them with information in the palm of their hands to ensure they are getting the right product at the best available price. This "showrooming," behaviour is putting significant price pressure on brick-and-mortar retailers as they are forced to compete with e-commerce retailers within the confines of their own stores. With the pricing power so clearly in the hands of the consumer today, the retail industry is rapidly being disrupted as e-commerce grows at 4 times the rate of traditional retail while accounting for 1 out of every 10 retail dollars
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 in-home browsing experience for users