In a report released today by M:Metrics it was noted that “the iPhone is already the most popular device for accessing news and information on the mobile Web, with 85 percent of iPhone users accessing news and information in the month of January.”
Usage in other categories of internet access like watching video, listening to music, social networking while not quite as high significantly exceeded market averages. Of particular note was that 36 percent of iPhone users accessed Google Maps. In comparison, only 2.6 percent of all mobile subscribers checked out Maps. No mention is made of time on the service or total number of search queries but one has to assume that those were proportionately much higher as well.
Mobile Content Consumption: iPhone, Smartphone and Total Market: January 2008 Activity iPhone Smartphone* Market -------- ------ ---------- ------ Any news or info via browser 84.8% 58.2% 13.1% Accessed web search 58.6% 37.0% 6.1% Watched mobile TV and/or video 30.9% 14.2% 4.6% Watched on-demand video or TV programming 20.9% 7.0% 1.4% Accessed Social Networking Site or Blog 49.7% 19.4% 4.2% Listened to music on mobile phone 74.1% 27.9% 6.7% Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2008. Survey of U.S. mobile subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31st January 2008, n = 31,389. *Smartphones include devices running Windows, Symbian, RIM or Apple operating systems.
This increased usage is a function of both user interface of the iPhone and the unlimted integrated internet access plan.
“While the demographics of iPhone users are very similar to all smartphone owners, the iPhone is outpacing other smartphones in driving mobile content consumption by a significant margin,” said Donovan. “In addition to the attributes of the device itself, another important factor to consider is the fact that all iPhones on AT&T are attached to an unlimited data plan. Our data shows that once the fear of surprise data charges is eliminated, mobile content consumption increases dramatically, regardless of device.”
I have noted in the past that penetration of iPhone like devices, with a decent interface and usability is likely to reach 50% of the market in 3 to 4 years. Obviously this depends on both the hardware and the internet access plans that the phone companies put in place. When the stars align and this occurs, local search will obviously benefit.