This annual report examines the US mobile and connected device landscape in 2012, highlighting trends that have shaped mobile media consumption and shifted market dynamics across mobile networks, platforms, and OEMs. The report also includes key mobile market insights from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, and Japan.
"2013 was a watershed year for mobile, with smartphones surpassing 50% penetration and tablets continuing to gain traction," said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP for Mobile. "As consumers incorporate these devices into their daily diet of digital media consumption, marketers and media companies are challenged to confront this emerging multi-platform paradigm. Having a clear view of today's digital landscape - and particularly the rapidly expanding usage of mobile devices - will be critical to success in the year ahead."
Multi-Platform Dynamics shape the 'Brave New Digital World'
With smartphones surpassing 125 million US consumers and tablets now owned by more than 50 million, we have crossed into the Brave New Digital World - a new paradigm of digital media fragmentation in which consumers are always connected. comScore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform (Beta), which provides an unduplicated view of digital media audiences and consumption across desktop computers, smartphones and tablets, reveals that more than one out of every three minutes online is now spent on devices beyond the PC.
Smartphones surpass 50% penetration and break into 'late majority' of adopters
2012 was a milestone year for the US smartphone market as it finally surpassed 50% market penetration and now enters the "late majority" stage of the technology adoption curve. The number of smartphone subscribers has increased 29% from a year ago and 99% from two years ago. Not only does the market's current ownership profile reflect a smartphone majority, but 72% of all newly-acquired devices are now smartphones.
Android and iOS control US smartphone market
Google's Android OS, which has been adopted by multiple OEMs, and Apple's iOS, which is carried exclusively on iPhones, have come to dominate the US smartphone landscape with nearly 90% of the market today. This market share dominance is being reinforced by the two platforms' well-developed app ecosystems, making it even more difficult for the competing platforms to narrow the gap.
Samsung makes splash in smartphone OEM market
Apple continues to gain ground as the leading smartphone OEM, but Samsung has seen the most explosive growth in this market over the past couple of years with a year-over-year increase of more than 100% and a two-year increase of more than 400%. While Apple maintains a healthy lead over #2 Samsung, the gap has been steadily narrowing during a year in which the rivalry heated up between the two smartphone OEM leaders.
High-speed mobile connectivity has unleashed mobile content consumption
The improved availability of high-speed Internet access has significantly enhanced the average user's media consumption experience, contributing to a rapid uptick in mobile media consumption. Default Wi-Fi accessibility for smartphones and tablets has not only off-loaded bandwidth from networks, but has also contributed to a better on-premise (e.g. in-home) browsing experience for users. While Wi-Fi usage has become more prevalent, networks speeds have also improved with 4G and LTE technology as an increasing number of phones on the market are enabled for these speeds.
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