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Mobile Maps Usage Surges; Apps Trump Mobile Browsers

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ComScore report that for the three month period ending April 2010, that more smartphone users accessed maps via applications, than maps via mobile browser in a month.

Smartphone users drove growth in both application and browser map usage with app access nearly tripling to 12.7 million smartphone users, while browser map access surged 93 percent to nearly 9 million smartphone users. "People are increasingly turning to their mobile phone for maps and directions when on the go," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, in reference to the comScore MobiLens data study.

The number of mobile map app users first surpassed mobile map browser users in February 2010:

  • 26 percent of smartphone users accessed maps via applications in a month

  • 19 percent of smartphone users accessed maps via mobile browser in a month

Among those who accessed maps on their mobile devices:

  • 87.2 percent did so from a car or other vehicle

  • 17.2 percent doing so while walking, running or biking

  • 16.7 percent while using public transit

The most utilized types of maps were:

  • 60.3 graphical maps with turn-by-turn directions

  • 50.6 percent using a graphical map without turn-by-turn directions

  • 46.8 percent using turn-by-turn directions without a graphical map

It would seem that Google is as prescient as ever by rolling out Map Navigation for Android 1.6, at the end of last year, and extending the service to 11 more countries, earlier this month.

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