Mobile Social Networking Getting More Popular in the US

September 5, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Connected Device Comparisons | Media & Entertainment | Mobile Phone | Social Media | Telecom

comscore-mobile-content-usage-apr-12-v-jul-12-sep2012.pngDuring the 3-month average ending in July 2012, 37.9% of US mobile subscribers accessed a social networking site or blog on their device, up about 5% from 36% during the 3-month average ending April 2012, and up almost 26% year-over-year from 30.1% in July 2011, according to comScore Mobilens data. Supporting this finding is an August report [download page] from Distimo, which reveals that the download volume among the top 100 most popular social applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone in the US grew 193% between July 2010 and July 2012. That 193% growth rate is far higher than the 43% increase in downloads for the top 100 most popular free apps overall in the Apple App Store. Within the US, the 100 most popular social apps account for 20% of the top 100 most popular apps in general, by download volume. This is the highest percentage of the 21 markets studied, with the overall average at 13%.

App Downloads Continue to Grow in Popularity

comScore figures indicate that other mobile activities also saw an increase in subscriber engagement from the prior 3-month period, including use of downloaded applications, which increased close to 5% from 50.2% to 52.6%, continuing to edge browser use, which grew slightly more than 4% from 49% to 51.2% of the mobile audience.

Texting remained the most common activity, used by 75.6% of US mobile subscribers, up from 74.1% the previous 3-month period. Other activities on the rise included playing games (up slightly from 33.1% to 33.8%) and listening to music, up almost 10% from 25.8% to 28.3%.

Android, Apple Gain Smartphone Market Share

Google’s share of the US smartphone market (primarily representing the Android platform) grew 2.8% between the 3 months ending April 2012 and the 3 months ending July 2012, increasing to 52.2% in that period. Apple rose 6% to 33.4% share, as Google and Apple both gained at the expense of RIM, which continued to plummet, down 18% to single-digit share of 9.5%. Microsoft (down 0.4% points to 3.6%) and Symbian (down 0.5% points to 0.8%) also fell at the hands of Google and Apple.

A new Kantar Worldpanel report indicates that Android accounted for 55.9% share of smartphone sales in the US in the 12 weeks ending August 5, 2012, down 4.5% from 60.4% during the 12 weeks ending August 7, 2011. iOS accounted for 35.2% of sales, up 8.4% from the prior period.

Meanwhile, comScore reports that general US smartphone ownership grew to more than 114 million during the 3 months ending in July 2012, up 7% compared to April.

Apple Challenging LG in Mobile Market Share

For the 3-month period ending in July 2012, 234 million Americans aged 13 and older used mobile devices. Apple saw the largest gain among OEMs for the period, up 13% to 16.3% share of subscribers. LG dropped 0.8% points to 18.4% share, meaning that the OEMs are now separated by just 2.1% points. For the 3-month period ending in June, the gap stood at 3.4% points.

Samsung remained in its top spot, though it dropped 0.3% points from the 3-month period ending in April, to 25.6% share. Motorola dropped more than 10% of its share to 11.2%, while HTC gained roughly 7% of its share, up to 6.4%.

About the Data: MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of more than 30,000 US mobile subscribers age 13 and older. Data on mobile phone usage refers to a respondent’s primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondent’s secondary device.

For the Distimo publication, applications that reside in the social or photography category in the Apple App Store for iPhone and aim to build a network were included in the results.

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