Social Networking Scores Biggest Rise in Q1 U.S. Mobile Use

While browser use remained first content usage of mobile phone subscribers in the first quarter to March 2010 in the U.S. with a 30.1% score, accessing social networking sites or blogs registered the sharpest increase of 2.8 points from last quarter, comScore said in a press release.

American mobile users like to browse the web, download apps, play games and listen to music
Browser use in the first quarter rose by 2.6 points to 30.1%, followed closely by apps downloads at 28.6%, a 2.6 point increase from the quarter to December 2009.
Games came in third with a slight 0.2 point uptick at 21.8% and music listening accounted for 13.2% of mobile use in the quarter, compared to 12.1% previously, according to the digital marketing intelligence company.

During the period, 34 million Americans age 13 and older were mobile subscribers, a huge potential grab for search engines, SEMs and marketers at large.

Original Equipement Manufacturers to keep an eye on
The top three OEMs as reported by the study findings are Samsung, with a 21.9% market share, up 0.7 point from the previous quarter, followed closely by Motorola at 21.9% and LG at 21.8%. BlackBerry manufacturer RIM only came in fourth at 8.3% but registered the best increase at 1.3 points. Nokia stood fifth at 8.3%.
It is interesting to note that Samsung and BlackBerry are the front runners in terms of market share growth as the three other OEMS lost ground over their position last quarter: Motorola lost 1.6 points, Nokia 0.9 point and LG 0.1 point.

The study does not tell whether this is a long term trend to be expected.
One of the reasons for this could be the availability and attractivity of deals with service providers.

Mobile operators
Verizon topped the list with a 31.1% market share, followed by AT&T at 25.2%, Sprint at 12%, T-Mobile also at 12% and newcomer Tracfone at 5.1%. In growth terms, “young” Tracfone registered the strongest increase at 0.3 points, along with AT&T at 0.2 points. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile both lost a slight 0.1 point.

Profiling for SEO, SEMs, marketers, brands at large
Although incomplete (there was no mention of Apple or the iPhone at all in the study and comScore did not give a reason for it. No one was available to reply to our query at time of press)*, this U.S. mobile use landscape provides a fairly good idea for apps developers as to who should support their tools and for marketers as to whom they need to approach for best penetration in terms of OEMs and operators.

Apps apps apps
Clearly, mobile apps and all technology that supports mobile search and metrics have a great future ahead. Google is well aware of it, judging by the mobile apps included in its analytics apps gallery and overhaul of Google Search Results announced just days ago.

*UPDATE Asked via Twitter about why iPhone manufacturer Apple does not appear in the report, comScore replied: “Apple was not mentioned in the release as it does not make the top five in Mobile OEMs”

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