Huge Growth in Daily Mobile Web Access

What are the chances that you are reading this right now on a mobile device, such as mobile phone, nettbook, or MID? According to comScore, that likelihood is roughly twice as great as it was this same time last year. More than twice as many people used their mobile devices to access "news and information on the Internet" on a daily basis in January 2009 than did in January 2008.

In January 2008, about 10.8-million people used their mobile devices on a daily basis to access online news and information. Only a year later, in January 2009, the number of people who got their news and information from their mobile devices daily actually more than doubled (a 107-percent increase) to around 22.4-million people. Similarly, those who use their mobile devices at least weekly for news and information also saw sizeable growth from 10.3-million people in January 2008 to 19.3-million people in January 2009--an 87-percent jump.

There are also those who use their mobile devices less frequently for accessing news and information. comScore reports that last January, 36.9-million people used their mobile devices for these tasks at least once during the month. This group also saw a sizeable increase to 63.2-million people--a 71-percent increase.

Accessing news and information, however, is not the only online-based activity people are using their mobile devices for--nor is it even the fastest growing activity. The second-most popular Web-access-based category for mobile users to engage in on a daily basis is accessing a "social networking site or blog." Last January saw 1.8-million do this, with a monumental, 427-percent increase to 9.3-million people in January 2009. Other popular Web-based categories that mobile users accessed on a daily basis were trading stocks or accessing financial accounts, movie information, business directories, and entertainment news.

 Source: comScore

comScore reports that the vast majority (about 70-percent) of this mobile Internet access comes from Web-enabled mobile phones; and much of this access comes from phone-based applications (such as downloaded iPhone Apps) and "text-based searches."

"In January, 22.3 million people accessed news and information via a downloaded application. Maps are the most popular downloaded application with 8.2 million users, while search was the overwhelmingly favored use for SMS-based news and information access, with 14.1 million users. Overall, 32.4 million people used SMS to access news and information in January."

 Source: comScore

Perhaps not surprisingly, approximately half of those who engage in mobile Web access are "18 to 34-year-old males." That said, a full 40-percent of those who use their mobile devices for Web access are "females in the 18 to 24-year-old demographic."

With the continued popularity of the iPhone and the growing interest in other smartphone platforms such as Android and the upcoming Palm Pre, the growth in mobile Web access is sure to increase at an even faster rate as these devices become increasingly ubiquitous. Additionally, more of the mobile platforms are starting to offer App-store like options for downloaded applications, which will give users that many more options for seamless, mobile Web-based access. Devices such as netbooks and MIDs still make up the minority of mobile Web access, but as these burgeoning platforms mature into smaller form-factor, more powerful devices, they will be sure to make up a larger portion of the mobile Web access ecosystem in time to come.
Tags:  Mobile Web