Do you remember when we only used cell phones in case of an emergency and landlines where still the choice of communication for all but the business elite? All that has changed. Cell phones are now as ubiquitous as your morning cup of coffee. They seem, in fact, to be extension’s of their owner’s personalities reflecting personal taste, hobbies, interests, entertainment, and communication with friends and family.
Now, a whopping 257 million people in the United States are mobile users. Currently, US smartphone use is at 43% of mobile users. By 2015, experts predict that 81% of cell phone users in the United States will be smartphone owners. Smartphone users are revolutionizing the mobile industry.
Moreover, smartphone use will continue to grow globally at a compound annual growth of 30% over the next five years.
What does this mean for the intrepid marketer? It is a tremendous market of opportunity! Smartphones open the market for a new consumer experience in the form of apps. The distinguished and iconic iPhone continues to boast the leading app platform with over half a million apps to chose from. IPhone apps have been downloaded nearly 15 billion times. That’s as if everyone on the planet downloaded a little over two apps. Can you imagine? Even though it may seem like there is an app for everything, new needs are being discovered and met every single day.
And smartphone users aren’t just in the upper income brackets. Actually, the growth is across the board, with 12% coming from households that earn less than $30,000 a year. However, the typical smartphone user in the United States still tends to be a college graduate.
Since even the most basic smart phones function as little computers (and the most advanced as AI devices), it’s no surprise that talking is not most people’s primary use for their phone. Most users prefer to browse the Internet, update their social media, listen to music, play games, email, text, watch videos, read, or snap photos.
Most people now shun devices we considered essentials just a few years ago, like cameras, watches and alarm clocks opting instead for apps on their phones.
With figures and opportunities like these, it’s no wonder that small businesses and marketers get excited at the thought of smartphone apps. It’s not only revolutionizing the way we communicate, but the way we relax, the way we work, and the way we play, plus myriad other facets of our lives that have yet to be explored by marketers. Truly, it is an excellent industry to be in – one that will only continue to grow.
Edward R. Kundahl
The SEO Doctor