AdAge reports on mobile search and some of the recent TMP Directional Marketing-comScore survey findings. The survey of roughly 3,000 online consumers went into a broad range of areas. Mobile was a piece of the larger set of data.
We’ll be rounding up this and other third party data in an advisory that will publish this week. For now here’s a slide reflecting data from the TMP survey pertaining to mobile:
According to the data above, the majority of smartphone users (including PDAs) conduct mobile searches and local searches on their mobile phones. Putting aside DA and ad-supported DA, it thus becomes a fairly straightforward formula to predict the growth of search on mobile handsets — it’s tied to smartphone adoption. And on that point, NDP said that three of the top five selling phones in the US are now smartphones.
Mixed Reviews for Android G1 – mesh digital ltd
Over at Search Engine Land I round up most of the major reviews of the T-Mobile G1, the first Android phone. If you want to see all of them for yourself, you can find them on Techmeme.
The bottom line is that the device is compared at every turn to the iPhone. The reviews are all mixed but mostly positive about the phone’s usability and the software. Om Malik compares the G1 to Honda vs. the iPhone’s BMW. But Honda probably sells more vehicles overall than BMW. Google would probably take that comparison accordingly.
Here’s what I said about the marketplace and my general observations about the entry of the device into the mobile ecosystem:
Android co-founders Andy Rubin and Rich Miner started developing their OS/platform before their startup was acquired in 2005 by Google and before the iPhone was out. The device isn’t a response to the iPhone. However it turns out to be similar to the iPhone in some significant respects.
Had Android and the G1 come out before the iPhone, the reviews would certainly have been almost entirely positive. It would have been much more groundbreaking than it is in the wake of the iPhone (now it has to sell “openness” of the Android software marketplace and the keyboard).
Had the reviews used Windows Mobile 6.1 and/or Nokia’s Symbian OS (now going open-source) as the comparative frame of reference, Android would have been the hands-down winner (as Malik suggests). The G1 and subsequent Android devices — probably now being fast tracked in the wake of the G1’s pre-order sales success — may compete most aggressively against the rest of the market (i.e., Palm, WinMo, Symbian/Nokia, feature phones) than it does the iPhone. That dynamic will emerge and play out over time.
Smartphones represent the future of the market; three of the top five selling phones in the US are smartphones, including two BlackBerry phones and the iPhone. According to NPD Group, smartphones now represent 19% of all new handset sales in the US. We should see that number climb even higher over the next 12-18 months.
According to recent data from TMP Directional Marketing and comScore, more than 50 percent of smartphone users have conducted searches using their devices (vs. 16 percent of feature phone users). Google clearly understands that getting more smartphones — more usable devices — in people’s hands will mean more mobile search. That’s what Android is ultimately about.
eMarketer: 486M LBS Users by 2012 (No Problem) – mesh digital ltd
A piece in AdWeek captures the topline figures on an eMarketer “location based services” forecast for mobile:
eMarketer forecasts that 486 million consumers worldwide will be using location-based services by 2012, up from 18.9 million in 2007.
Of course the size of the potential market all depends on how you define “location based services.” There’s the geotargeted advertising angle and then there’s the conumers demand/use angle. eMarketer is talking about the latter.
Basically everyone who has a mobile phone and conducts a search is going to be searching for local/offline information from time to time. That doesn’t take into account applications and favorites that are location-specific or location aware.
We found most recently in our own survey work that 29% of mobile phone users accessed the Internet and 16% searched. That 16% figure is identical to the recent TMP-comScore survey. Of course smartphone users access the mobile Internet and search much more than the average (over 50%).
Local is one of the top content categories across all mobile consumers surveys (Opus, comScore, Nielsen). In practice it’s a subset of all query volume on mobile handsets (see “What Do 20 Million Queries Tell Us about Mobile Search?”)
The number of LBS/local content users on mobile devices is thus a function of overall mobile Intenet access and, in particular, smartphone growth. Today (per CTIA) we have approximately 260 million mobile users in the US. The range of mobile Internet access is between 15% and 30%, let’s say. That represents (in the US alone) between about 40 and almost 80 million people — today.
It should thus be very easy to hit the eMarketer numbers in four years, on a global basis.
Details Emerge about Motorola’s Android Phone – mesh digital ltd
One of the things I’ve wondered is how the various Android phones — and the OEMs that make them — will seek to differentiate from one another once multiple phones are in the market. BusinessWeek has some interesting details about the forthcoming Motorola Android phone, which is apparently not scheduled to ship until mid-2009:
Like the world’s first Android phone, from HTC, Motorola’s Android-based device will offer a slide-out Qwerty keyboard. People who’ve seen the pictures and spec sheets for the device say it looks like a higher-end version of the HTC phone, called the T-Mobile G1. But it’s expected to sell for less, at prices similar to the Krave, which is available for $150 with a two-year contract. After carrier subsidies, the G1 will retail for $180 with a two-year contract.
Also interesting is the fact that it will seek to differenatiate as a “social smartphone,” building in features that will reportedly make it easier to access and use social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook — both of which dominate “mobile social networking” in its very nascent state.
Another interesting angle here is price. The article excerpt above suggests some price competition between the G1 and forthcoming Motorola Android phone. Along those lines syndicated tech commentator offers some interesting thoughts about how Android might increase price competition among smartphone OEMs and drive the price of handsets down.
Indeed, notwithstanding the built-in social networking elements, price may be a more effective differentiator for the Motorola Android phone. If there is price competition among the various Android vendors, how might that affect BlackBerry and the iPhone? Both have some insulation against price competition: BlackBerry owns the enterprise market today and the iPhone the high-end consumer market. Yet both could be forced to respond if multiple Android handsets are priced closer to $100 than $200.
And the more prices come down for smartphones, the more that segment of the market will grow. Three of the top five selling phones in the US are smartphones (two BlackBerry phones and the iPhone).