New TKG Data: Smartphone Penetration Nears 20%

Today, The Kelsey Group’s second wave of the Mobile Market View consumer survey was released, supporting many of the claims we’ve been making here about the changing mobile environment.

The biggest takeaway was that 18.9 percent of survey respondents (n=512) reported owning a smartphone, while 49.2 percent plan to purchase one in the next year. This comes about as device standards improve, prices drop, and there is a general erosion of the carrier control that has put subpar technologies in our hands.

Along with smartphone penetration comes greater data consumption — especially on iPhones, whose users have proved to engage in far greater mobile search behavior than other smartphone users and cellphone users in general. Other top-line data points from the survey include:

17.6 percent downloaded or looked at maps or directions (up from 10.8 percent in 2007)

15.6 percent searched the Internet for products or services in their local area (up from 9.8 percent in 2007)

14.3 percent searched the Internet for products or services outside their local area (up from 6.4 percent in 2007)

13.7 percent obtained information about movies or other entertainment (up from 8.2 percent in 2007)

9.6 percent connected with a social network, such as MySpace or Facebook (up from 3.4 percent in 2007)

TKG clients can download and read the rest of the report in My Kelsey. These findings will also be good fodder for panel discussions at the Interactive Local Media conference in Santa Clara later this month. Hope to see you there.

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