Global smartphone adoption proliferates

You don’t have to look hard to find someone using a smartphone these days, and if you’re curious just how prevalent the technology has become, comScore offers an exhaustive update.

In a nutshell: smartphone adoption is changing the way we consume media. Such is the suggestion of comScore’s 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report, which sizes up the mobile industry over the past year. Its findings, though not necessarily surprising, are still fairly astonishing. To wit:

  • Nearly 42 percent of all US mobile subscribers now use smartphones, and 44 percent in Europe. Some markets saw penetration rates surpass 50 percent;
  • Google‘s Android smartphone platform captured nearly half the US smartphone market, while Apple iOS claimed almost 30 percent;
  • The smartphone audience in Europe’s five largest countries (UK, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany) rose 44 percent, while subscriptions rose 55 percent in the US;
  • Smartphone purchases exceeded feature phones in the US for the first time in 2011, totaling 60 percent of all acquired mobile devices (compared to less than 20 percent in Q1 2009);
  • More than 400 smartphone devices populate the US mobile market, led by the Apple iPhone 4.

The implications of such broad consumer acceptance of smartphones are clear. The device is changing the way we consume media on a global scale, and that is making for fiery competition among wireless carriers, app developers, and even brick-and-mortar retailers hoping to increase customer conversion. And as comScore smartly notes, the real winner in this war is the consumer.

Lee Simmons

Lee Simmons is a business writer in Austin. He covers the technology and media industries for Hoover's and offers random musings on the state of entertainment (among other pressing issues) for Bizmology. Follow him at Twitter.

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