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Merry Mobile and a Happy New Smartphone to You, Part I

December 21, 2010

SmartphonesThis week, a top New York Times article was about how more and more people are doing their holiday shopping on their smartphones this year. That, combined with a Mashable piece about how the “mobile web will rule by 2015,” got me thinking about the rise of mobile devices.

And when I say “mobile devices,” I don’t just mean smartphones like the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. (Ok, and the new Windows Phone. Ho hum.) I also mean all the other Web-enabled stuff we have in addition to our phones, like:

  • GPS devices,
  • gaming systems,
  • e-readers like the Kindle,
  • iPads and other tablet computers,
  • and of course, iPod Touches (which are pretty much just like iPhones, except they don’t make calls, they use a Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet.)

The Increasing Prevalence of Mobile Devices

Statistics suggest about 60 million, or 1 in 5, Americans currently owns a smartphone, but industry projections are that that half of us will own one by this time next year. And 275 million of us already own iPods. Wow.

As would be expected, mobile device saturation is greatest amongst the young, college-aged set. For example, at the University of Virginia, nearly 60% of the freshman class entering in Fall 2009 brought a Web-enabled, portable network device with them — up from just 33% of the class entering one year before. So, we can be pretty sure that about three-fourths of the class that arrived in Fall 2010 owns at least one mobile device — and that mobile devices on campus will very soon be totally ubiquitous.

How We’re Using Mobile Devices

According to this Mashable article on how consumers are using smartphones:

  • 52% of us have used a smartphone to find a store location;
  • 48% of us have used one to browse for products;
  • 40% of us have compared prices online with the ones in store using our smartphone;
  • 35% of us have looked for discounts, deals, coupons, or discount codes on our phones while shopping;
  • 34% of us have checked product availability at retail stores or websites on our phones;
  • 33% of us have emailed or texted someone on our phones to tell them about our experience at a store; and
  • 19% of us have used our phones to post something on a social networking site to convey that information.

What That Means for You

So, organizations, are you listening? Research shows that consumers are using their devices to find you; to look for deals you’re offering; to share their experience with you with others on sites such as Facebook and Twitter; and to compare your service, your pricing, and your quality with others elsewhere. Do you like what they are saying about you? (Do you know what they are saying — are you monitoring that?) And how does your organizational website look on a tiny mobile screen? Have you checked?

Coming Next Week

Part II of this entry will be my first post for the new year: a more philosophical discussion of what the rise of mobile means for you…and for the world.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Car Hire Malaga Airport permalink
    February 4, 2011 10:08 am

    I Will have to come back again to when my work load lets up – nevertheless I am taking your RSS feed so I can read your site offline. Thanks.


  1. The New Year and Mobiles and Smartphones, Oh My! (Part II) «
  2. A Double-Edged Sword «

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