comscore outlines iPhone/smartphone demographic and usage

While the perception and the influence of the iPhone are huge, it is only a small part of the phones out there and Ex-Rapid Mobile CEO and now vp of mobile for Europe at comScore, Jeremy Copp has the figures to prove it

According to the latest figures from comScore  the iPhone currently represents just 4 percent of the EU5 mobile market —Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy—but 18 percent of the overall EU5 smartphone market. Yes just 4 percent.

Overall market share in EU5 from comScore is as follows:

Nokia’s Symbian, 15 percent;
Apple, 4 percent.
Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, 3 percent;
RIM’s BlackBerry, 2 percent;
Google’s Android, 1 percent;

However according to comScore iPhone owners are the most voracious consumers of mobile media: 94 percent use mobile media, 87 percent use applications and 85 percent browse the mobile internet and all that consuming means  iPhone users represent 12 percent of all mobile media users.

Mobile Media Usage Among European Smartphone Owners by OS Vendor
3 Month Average Ending April 2010
Total EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share of Smartphone Owners Engaging in Activity
Total Smartphone Symbian Apple Microsoft RIM Google
Smartphone Marketshare 100% 58% 18% 13% 8% 3%
Mobile Media Usage
Mobile Media (Browsing, Apps, Downloading) 65% 52% 94% 68% 81% 89%
Web Browsing 53% 39% 85% 56% 66% 83%
App Usage 53% 38% 87% 55% 72% 78%

“The iPhone 4 is set to have a huge impact globally with pre-order handsets selling out and retailing websites buckling under the pressure,” said Copp,

“To date the iPhone has had a disproportionate impact on the European mobile market considering its relatively modest installed base of around 10 million. It has catalysed the consumption of mobile media and opened the eyes of brands to mobile as an engaging marketing medium. However, it has also prompted other device manufacturers and OS vendors to elevate their game so the poster-child of the smartphone generation now faces serious competition.”

The European smartphone market is growing 38 percent year-on-year, but the most recent year has seen some significant developments. In the last 12 months, although the dominant OS, Symbian, gained device owners, market momentum has now moved to the North American operating systems of RIM, Apple and Google, each of which has grown by substantial percentage over the past year.

Growth in European Smartphone Owners by OS Vendor
3 Month Avg. Ending April 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending April 2009
Total EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Smartphone Owners (000)
April-2009 April-2010 % Change
Smartphone 41,224 56,974 38%
Symbian 28,014 33,146 18%
Apple 3,846 10,019 161%
Microsoft 6,719 7,268 8%
RIM 2,456 4,594 87%
Google 71 1,804 2429%

“Google’s Android is most certainly the one to watch,” added Jeremy Copp. “It has gained about 1.7 million users in a very short period of time and now accounts for 3 percent of the European smartphone market. Crucially, Android user mobile media consumption is very high – slightly behind but comparable to that of Apple. 89 percent use mobile media, 78 percent applications and 83 percent browse the mobile internet. The Droids are coming and current demand for the iPhone 4 implies a titanic battle between Apple and Google is imminent.”

When asked what he thought created the above average media interest despite the iPhone’s relatively small market share in Europe, copp explained

“I believe there are a number of factors contributing to the large amount of mobile media consumption on iPhone: A majority of iPhones are sold with a flat-rate data plan, meaning that users have full connectivity out of the box without worrying about incremental data costs. The great user experience offered by iPhones makes it easy to consume media: browsing, applications, music and others. The vertically integrated ecosystem is offered by Apple for iPhone users to access media through the iTunes store.”

Interestingly the Apple iPhone demographic shows no real difference from the users of other smartphone devices, they’re all largely men – the queues yesterday for the iPhone 4 prove this quite unequivocally – and they’re young to middle-aged.

“There is no significant difference in the age and gender profiles for EU5 users of Apple platform devices compared to devices using platforms from Symbian, RIM, Google and Microsoft: All are skewed to a male populace with a majority of users age 18-44. Our data shows that the only anomaly is that Microsoft platform devices have a higher proportion of male users—72 percent—compared to the others at 60-65 percent, though they are a small proportion of the overall market.”

We also liked Copp’s take on why Nokia just aren’t as big in the US as they are around the rest of the World. According to Copp the US wanted flip-phones and Nokia said they didn’t, luckily Motorola were there to oblige with the Razr. We’re also surprised that Windows is so high and Android is so low in the comScore figures.

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