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Study: Smartphone usage increases across five countries in 2011

Recently released data from Google and private research think-thank Ipsos reported on the consumer shift from feature mobile phones to smartphones across five different countries.

Respondents in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Japan all replied to the joint survey, which was conducted in September and October of 2011. The data was compared against a similar study taken at the beginning of 2011.

If you thought the U.S. would have the highest penetration of smartphone users, you'd be wrong. Researchers found that U.K. residents led the way at 45 percent penetration - a 15 percent increase from January 2011.

The U.S. and France followed at 38 percent each, while Germany and Japan trailed at 23 and 17 percent, respectively.

However, you can't really get a handle on how the smartphone revolution affected U.S. residents until you take into consideration holiday sales - which this study could not. Marketing Land cites two more recent studies by Nielsen and Verizon, which found smartphone penetration in the U.S. reaching 46 and 44 percent, respectively.

The study also documented the rise of tablets, also dubbed the "fourth screen" after desktop, laptop and mobile. The report found that 17 percent of U.S. residents own a tablet, although that number may be slightly understated considering the 15 million sales of iPads and Kindle Fire's during the holiday season, MarketingLand notes.

A related study from Pew, taken between November and January, found that 19 percent of Americans own tablets - equal to around 45 million people.

As a marketer, you need to recognize the potential of this new outlet and take advantage of tablet-specific advertising options. In addition, comScore found that tablet owners are more likely than smartphone owners to complete a transaction on the device.

Other findings from the Google-Ipsos study included the fact that 69 percent of U.S. mobile users access the internet on the phones everyday - although that number was trumped by Japanese users, 88 percent of whom use their mobile devices in some way daily.

Lastly, it isn't just males men who have jumped on the smartphone bandwagon. Smartphone usage among females women increased from the first study to the second across all five countries.

These findings may be an implication that mobile internet usage may one day trump PC usage, a fact that marketers must keep in mind when optimizing their marketing campaigns for the smaller screen.

Content Writer: Aaron Boggs Aaron Boggs President

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