5 Key Facts You Need To Know About The Mobile Market

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Just a few years ago, mobile phones were only used to make calls and send texts. But, do you really know how important mobile devices have become during the last few years?
 
Today mobile functionality has changed the way people access information and how we should deliver information ‘on-the-go’. Today people use their phones not just to makes calls, but for a whole range of online activities: searching the web, listening to music, taking photos and videos, checking email, online shopping, GPS navigation, the only limitations to use are the apps available.
 
If you’re reading this you probably have a smartphone and maybe a tablet as well and maybe using one of these to read this article online. You’re no different to the millions of mobile users who are favouring mobile access to keep up to date when and where they want.
 
These 5 key facts show you the status of the current mobile market in the UK and across the world.

 

1. computers are being replaced by mobile devices
 
smartphones are exploding
Source: Benedict Evans, Nov 2013

 

 Computer sales have declined…and so have their application and uses - at least on a personal level. Desktop & laptop computers are still being used to create content, but mobile touch devices are designed to consume and manage information ‘on-the-go’: videos, music, photos, digital newspapers, email, web, social networks…
 
According to ComScore’s study, for the first time in the US, internet mobile traffic is greater than desktop traffic with 55% coming from mobile devices.

 

 
traffic sources
Source: ComScore
 

 According to the survey users predominantly use desktops and laptops during office hours. However, they are increasingly using mobile tablets and smartphones during their leisure time.

  

device traffic
 Source: ComScore    

 

 2. People prefer to use apps rather than mobile web
 
Users are spending more and more time using smartphones and tablets in place of computers, but… what do they prefer: Native apps or adaptive/responsive websites on mobile devices? According to Flurry’s data (one of the most important Mobile analytics providers), users spend more than 86% of their mobile time using native apps versus 14% on mobile optimised websites.
 
 
 
apps continue to dominate the mobile web
Source: Flurry

 

 
A native app which takes advantage of mobile device capabilities providing a customised intuitive user interface, is more attractive to users than a website that just adapts resolution and layout to fit the screen and (because of browser limitations) inhibits functionality rather than enhancing it.
 
3. People love making online purchases using their mobile devices
 
People are no longer afraid of buying anything on the internet-Amazon, Ebay, Argos are success stories that support this. In fact, today, people are more likely to complain or go elsewhere if a store doesn’t have an online shop. Every day more and more people uses their smartphones and tablets to buy online. This online trend has seen mobile purchases increase by 20% on average in 12 months. Business Insider research illustrated this when they compared purchases made during three of the most important sales days in USA in 2012 and 2013: Thanks Giving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
 

 

share of ecommerce sales
 
 Figure 3. Source: Business Insider

 

 
In those three days, the share of mobile purchases increased on all three days and different studies indicate that this trend will continue over the next few years. Native apps designed to capitalise on the mobile operating system increases customer engagement, providing a reliable purchase process for users.

  

4. UK is one of the mobile leaders
 
With 64% smartphone saturation, the UK is well above the EU average of 57% and consistently one of the top users of smartphones in Europe, only surpassed last year by Spain.
 

 

map
 
Source: ComScore

 

 
50% of smartphone usage is by people in the 18-54 bracket, but ease of use is illustrated by the Comscore research which shows 30% of users are aged 55 and over, indicating that accessing apps and online features is favoured by over 55s because of their familiarity and ease of use with mobile devices.

  

graph 1
 
Source: ComScore

 

 As expected, games still remain the most popular apps followed by education, lifestyle and business.

 

graph 2
Source: Statista

 

5.Android v iOS v Windows Phone
 
In the mobile OS arena, Android is king. With more than 50% of the UK’s smartphones and tablets running Android, developing an app wit support and compatibility for Android is mandatory for any company or developer delivering mobile options. According to Kantar, in the UK, 50% of devices bought during the last quarter of 2013 were android, 33% were iOS, Windows Phone had 11% of sales and BlackBerry trailed with just 3.5%. Interestingly of the three (iOS, Android & Windows Phone) Windows Phone has seen the greatest change up by 5.4%. Sadly, Blackberry, a former major mobile manufacturer continues its market decline.

 

OS  3 m/e Dec 2012 3 m/e Dec 2013   % pt. Change 
 Android  54.4  54.9  0.5
 BlackBerry  6.4  3.5  -3.2
 iOS  32.4  29.9  -2.5
 Windows Phone  5.9  11.3  5.4
 Other  0.9  0.6  -0.3
   
Source: Kantar

 

With Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia and leading mobile manufacturers including LG, HTC and Samsung announcing that they will be launching Windows Phone 8.1 devices we will see an interesting market battle between these three platforms and it looks likely that the Windows Phone platform will continue its upward move.
 
Is your business ready for the challenges of mobile devices? 3chillies provide a mobile assessment service to evaluate how your business can capitalise on this market growth, how to harness mobile platform power and identify which platform should be utilised to lead the charge in addressing your target audience. Get in touch if you're interested. 
 
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