Kelsey Group Sees Increases In Mobile Search Activity

    November 3, 2008

A substantial mobile search market has long been incorrectly heralded as something that’s right around the corner.  But according to The Kelsey Group, significant progress has been made in the past year, and given another 24 months, the market may finally be ready to materialize in full.

The Kelsey Group talked to 512 American mobile phone users for its Mobile Market View study and found that activity has increased across the board.  First, 13.7 percent of respondents researched movie and entertainment info, compared to 8.2 percent last year.  Then, in terms of looking up non-local product or service info, the numbers jumped from 6.4 percent to 14.3 percent, and the stats tied to "closer" searches rose 9.8 percent to 15.6 percent.

Perhaps most significantly, while The Kelsey Group found that only 18.9 percent of consumers now own a smartphone, 49.2 percent of them plan to buy one within the next two years.

Steve Marshall, The Kelsey Group’s director of research and consulting, stated as a result of all this, "We are seeing a qualitative difference in consumer usage of mobile phones, particularly with the energetic uptake of smartphones.  The aggressive projections about mobile are approaching reality, as smartphones are now becoming mainstream platforms for commercial usage."

Considering how much time and money they’ve spent preparing, AOL, Yahoo, and particularly Google (think Android) must be happy to hear his take.  Extra-aggressive behavior might even occur from this point forward thanks to the economy’s otherwise iffy shape.