Google Analyzes How People Use Smartphones In Different Countries

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Earlier, we looked a new report from Adobe, indicating that the share of website visits from tablets grew ten times faster than the rate of smartphones in a two-year period. Now, Google has released some research about smartphone adoption around the world.

"Today, Australia, U.K., Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and UAE each have more than 50 percent of their population on smartphones," says Google Mobile Ads Group Product Marketing Manager Dai Pham. "An additional seven countries—U.S., New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland—now have greater than 40 percent smartphone penetration. In the U.S., 80 percent of smartphone owners say they don’t leave home without their device—and one in three would even give up their TV before their mobile devices!"

Pham shares some highlights on the Mobile Ads Blog:

  • The UK (51%), Sweden (51%) and Norway (54%) all saw a dramatic increase of more than 20% in smartphone adoption in less than one year.
  • 52% of Australians own a smartphone, 15% more than did last year.
  • Among the 26 countries, smartphone penetration was highest in the Middle East at 62% in the UAE and 60% in Saudi Arabia.
  • Argentina is starting to see strong traction in smartphone adoption as nearly a quarter of the population (24%) uses a smartphone.
  • 68% of smartphone users in China, 73% in Saudi Arabia and 72% in Argentina are searching on their mobile device daily.
  • Consumers in Egypt and Brazil are among the heaviest social networkers with 91% and 88% of smartphone users doing this.
  • 59% of smartphone owners in China have made a purchase on their device, the highest among all countries in this study.
  • 91% of Mexican smartphone owners look for local information and 88% take action.
  • 58% of the French visit a business after looking for local information
  • 48% of smartphone users in the UAE call a business after a local smartphone search.
  • 80% of Japanese use their mobile device while consuming other media. 53% use their phones while watching TV and 30% while using the Internet on their computer.
  • In the US, 51% use their phones while listening to music
  • In Spain, 36% engage with mobile while reading a magazine.
  • 75% in Brazil have performed a mobile search after seeing an offline ad.
  • 100% of smartphone owners in Japan use their phone to research a purchase.
  • 36% of Egyptians have changed their mind about a purchase while in a store due to smartphone research.
  • People are researching items on their smartphones before making a purchase in other channels. 52% in Ireland end up making a purchase on their computer and 37% in Argentina purchase in a store after researching on their smartphones.

Google has put together an interactive chart-building tool to showcase various global smartphone data at a site it has set up called Our Mobile Planet.

Our mobile planet by Google

Google's data shows that the smartphone should really be a part of your online strategy. While Adobe's tablet study showed tremendous growth of tablets, it also highlighted how much more engaging tablets are for the mobile web traffic. People simply like browsing the web better on tablets than smartphones, and this is likely because people aren't optimizing their sites for mobile.

“Tablets are better for surfing than smartphones,” Adobe Digital Index Director, Austin Bankhead, tells WebProNews.

Typically, there's not as much optimization needed for tablets. They tend to handle the regular desktop versions of sites better because the screens aren't as small, but considering the data like what Google is showing, it's clear that there is a whole lot of smartphone use going on around the world, and if you're not optimizing your site for mobile, you're probably missing out on a lot of opportunity.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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