Last week, ComScore published its big annual Digital Year in Review statistics compilation for 2010. I covered this report for both CNN.com Tech and the Knight Digital Media Center. While the report covers many media, communications, and tech topics, I focused on what it had to say about mobile.
My key takeaways…
In my CNN.com Tech story, ComScore on the Future of Mobile, I noted that the big context is that as of December 2010, feature phones still comprise the vast majority (73%) of current US cell phone handsets in use.
Most other tech news outlets are crying triumphantly about how smartphones have passed the 25% penetration mark, and that is indeed siginificant — but in terms of what’s out in the field right now, feature phones still dominate the field.
I think that’s likely to remain the case for a few years yet, unless carriers quickly find ways to make the cost of smartphones and their data plans more attractive to the majority of cell users — and carriers don’t have much incentive to do that, especially since they need lots of money to build out their LTE networks to keep pace with the devices already sold.
Also, if and when smartphones do become the majority, I expect that for a long time a big part of the market will still simply prefer less complicated phones. So the low end of the mobile market will always be huge, and important.
Over on KDMC, I wrote: Mobile ads poised to hit big—are you ready? One interesting prediction for 2011 in ComScore’s report was that mobile ads will really take off in 2011. This means that right now is a key time for news organizations and other publishers to get a jump on the mobile market. And (due to the point I just mentioned above about current smartphone v. feature phone market penetration), this means including feature phones in your mobile ad strategy.
I offer five tips for news publishers about how to get a mobile strategy together, and prepare their site and ad delivery systems and sales.