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Omniture has announced a new version of its SiteCatalyst analytics engine that’s designed specifically for iPhone apps.

As iPhone penetration grows, data consumption will grow with it. The conversation will begin to shift from how many users have downloaded which applications to how they are using those applications. Depending on the application, there will be the opportunity to get more granular with clickthrough rates (display ads), click-to-call (local search), session lengths (mobile social apps), conversions (shopping search) and lots of other important data.

Advertiser demand isn’t quite there yet on a mass market scale. But as usage and search volume grow, it will approach that point. The combination of a recession and an “experimental” ad medium means growth in 2009 will be flat. But as things rebound, mobile data consumption will independently grow closer to the levels that will attract advertisers. If these factors play out more or less in step, we could see a spike in advertiser adoption occur a little over a year from now.

In the meantime, the name of the game for mobile brands and applications is positioning, awareness, and user traction. That’s precisely what we’re seeing now. Analytics will begin to play a key part as the above scenarios unfold, and we’ll see more attention paid to it. Omniture is among the first in the pool for native iPhone apps (Pinch Media offers something similar, according to TechCrunch). The new engine will be available in January.

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