Smartphones Now Dominate Mobile Browser and App Use in U.S.

Smartphones overtook non-smartphone handsets as primary devices for mobile browser and app use.

Smartphones now account for the majority of mobile browser and application use in the U.S., overtaking access from non-smartphone, or “feature phone” devices, according to data from comScore.

Despite the fact they represent less than a quarter of the U.S. mobile market, the measurement firm estimates smartphones accounted for 55.5 percent of mobile browser use in the three month period ending August 2010, up from 41.4 percent in the same period last year. Meanwhile, smartphones comprised 60.4 percent of total application use, up from 43.6 percent.

According to comScore, the shift in momentum towards feature phones represents a “watershed moment” for the mobile content and advertising industry, and marketers should “shift their focus towards developing with primarily these devices in mind.”

The boom in smartphone Internet access has been driven by the proliferation of devices such as Apple’s iPhone, RIM’s BlackBerry, and handsets running Google’s Android operating system.

U.S. Smartphone vs. Non-Smartphone Applicaiton and Browser use, Three Month Average Ending August 2010 vs. 2009

Device Used Downloaded App Used Browser
August 2009 (%) August 2010 (%) August 2009 (%) August 2010 (%)
Smartphone 43.6 60.4 41.4 55.5
Non-Smartphone 56.4 39.6 58.6 44.5
Source: comScore MobiLens

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