GPS navigation tops instant messaging as an application for smartphone users

Mobile devices are gaining popularity very rapidly
worldwide and the traditional cellphone is fading fast, according to a survey by
IDG Global Solutions (IGS).

Almost 13,700 people from 16 countries completed surveys
last February and March.

More than two-thirds of the respondents worldwide said
they use a smartphone for personal (73 percent) or business (69 percent)
purposes. Apple, Blackberry, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson dominate the market
depending on the country. In business and personal use, Nokia and Apple lead
the way in Europe. In the US, Apple (29 percent) and Blackberry (26 percent)
are very competitive for business users whereas Samsung (15 percent) is second
to Apple (33 percent) for personal use.

owners show a new behavior: 70 percent browse the Internet regularly and use
mobile applications. These devices are no longer limited to calls, email, and
text messages as people go online from home, on the move, and in the office.
When surfing the web on smartphones, respondents indicated that general and IT
news are most popular, followed by social networking access.

GPS navigation topped instant messaging as an
application. Most countries’ GPS usage surpassed 50 percent led by Finland (77
percent), Sweden (75 percent), Denmark (88 percent), Brazil (68 percent),
Australia (66 percent), Germany (57 percent), Spain (56 percent), US (54
percent), and UK (41 percent).

Instant messaging use reached 68 percent in Brazil, China
(67 percent), and Mexico (64 percent). Behind Canada’s 46 percent are Italy, Spain,
Netherlands, and Sweden at between 43 percent -to-48 percent and the US (40
percent), France (38 percent), Germany (34 percent), and UK (26 percent).

Geolocation use for vouchers, deals, and offers is not a
major factor in most geographies: China (42 percent), Brazil (31 percent),
Italy (30 percent), and US (29 percent).

According to the IGS survey, app vendors are in good
position. A large majority of respondents said they download apps to their
phones and also pay for apps. Two-thirds regularly use between one to seven
apps with the most popular being general news, social media, gaming, and IT

Twenty percent of all respondents own a tablet. Tablet
growth is set to take off over the next 12 months as 67 percent are planning to
buy one. Apple owns this category in all countries with 80 percent market share,
followed by Samsung Galaxy at 9 percent worldwide. The IGS survey revealed that
half of all tablet owners use it for work.

The most popular uses are web browsing (93 percent),
email (84 percent), mobile apps (72 percent), watching videos (69 percent), and
reading publications (66 percent).

Sixty-seven percent of all tablet owners share it with
colleagues or family, spreading the tablet experience to much more than the 20
percent ownership figure.

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.

Tech marketers are recognizing the value of mobile
advertising as the device market heats up,” said Matthew Yorke, president, IGS. “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.”

By Team
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