Mobile Landscape Update: November 2011

There is never a dull moment on the mobile landscape.  Here’s a quick peek into the current market as of November 2011 (thanks to Nielsen for the stats).

Smartphone use among age groups - notice a pattern?

What is consistent? Growth.The chart above represents only a 12-month span but almost every single age group showed a 20% increase in smartphone adoption. In just one year? That’s crazy.

Also interesting to note that nearly 2/3 of Americans from 25 – 34 own a smartphone. And about 50% of all Americans between 18 – 54 own one.

Let’s look at another stat:

Battle of the platforms - look at that big green chunk!

First, look on the right. Android is kicking butt. Seriously. It outranks the iPhone 43% to 28% (it should be noted that iPhone remains the best-selling phone model, however). What does this mean for you? For one thing, it means you probably shouldn’t offer just an iPhone app to your visitors – because you’d only be reaching 28% of smartphone users. Wow.

And lastly – there are still a huge number of people who don’t own any kind of smartphone, but will be getting one very soon. This means there is room for volatility in the market – another major player could enter the space and have room for significant growth. Or one of the existing players could become dominant. Either way, we don’t know. What does that mean to you? It means, for heaven’s sake, don’t tie yourself to one platform. Build an app that is flexible and can play well across platforms. The last thing you want is to invest in an app that is obsolete in two years.

Developing your mobile strategy is a big deal. A little knowledge of the market and thinking ahead can save you a lot of headache and frustration down the road. So build for the future and build a flexible app.

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