Nielsen Q2 Mobile Data: Smartphones, Ads, Social Nets

Nielsen blogged about a range of mobile data and user behavior earlier this week. Here's a summary of highlights:

Handset purchase criteria: Mobile consumers around the world applied different criteria when deciding what phone to purchase. Cost was the top factor across the board

US mobile subscriber numbers: the U.S. mobile subscriber base grew 7% to 277 million by the second quarter of 2009, which represented 221 million unique users, adjusting for multi-phone holders. (This argues there are more than 50 million people in the US who own more than one phone.) 

Smartphone penetration figures: Currently, smartphone penetration varies by country. In Italy and Spain, more than one-quarter of new mobile handsets purchased were smartphones, with 28% and 23% market penetration respectively. The United States followed at 17%, Sweden at 13%, Canada-Germany-United Kingdom at 12% and France at 11%.

(comScore contends US smartphone penetration is 12%; our data from earlier this year show roughly 15%)

US voice and data spending: All mobile subscribers spend $57.04 in billed services, with the monthly voice plan accounting for $35.40 and data extras adding $12.10 to the bill. Blackberry owners typically rack up $88.85 per month in charges, with $45.10 in voice plan costs and $28.20 in data extras. iPhone users spend nearly as much on data ($37.60) as they do on voice ($42.00) and have an average monthly bill of $89.35.

iPhone usage patterns: iPhone owners lead the way in media usage when it comes to mobile Internet (89%), text messaging (87%), software/application downloads and location-based services (75%), video/mobile TV (41%) and full track music (38%).

US user access to social networks on mobile devices: The distribution of 18.3 million unique social network users by the top three sites is Facebook (26% reach), MySpace (13% reach) and Twitter (7% reach).

Mobile advertising: One-third of all mobile data users were exposed to some form of mobile advertising in Q2 2009. SMS and MMS comprised the two most popular forms of mobile advertising response. Roughly 16% of consumers responded to mobile ads most frequently via text message, a picture or MMS message, email or by visiting a designated web site. Teenagers were the most accepting of mobile advertising—the acceptance rate declines as age increases. Perceptions of mobile ads were highest among all age groups if it lowered their bill. Consumers age 45+ were the least accepting of mobile ads.

Picture 15

Regarding mobile advertising, here's what our April consumer survey data show about ad exposures and ad types:

Opus Research/Internet2Go 4-09

Source: Opus Research April, 2009 (n=707 North American mobile users, exposed to ads [n=75])