Mobile phones have reached a critical mass around the world, serving as constant companions for consumers regardless of demographics or geography. But how we engage with mobile devices and content varies depending on who and where you are. We took a closer look at these differences in a new report, The Mobile Consumer: A Global Snapshot, and found that while mobile usage is becoming increasingly ubiquitous around the world, usage differs significantly by market and demographic groups.
The report examines mobile consumer behavior, device preference and usage in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.
Device preference is evolving, as smartphone penetration continues to grow in most markets, especially in developed markets with widespread 3G/4G access. In the U.S. and South Korea, for example, smartphone owners now make up the majority of mobile consumers. And in many markets this increased penetration is being led by a new generation of young adults eager to embrace smartphone technology. Comparatively, in growing economies like India and Turkey, a growing group of mobile phone users prefer feature phones over other device options (80% and 61%, respectively).
Mobile usage also differs by device type and market. Smartphone owners tend to gravitate toward games and social networks, though the level of activity varies depending on the market. For example, smartphone owners in the U.S. were most likely to watch video and use maps/navigation apps, while Chinese users were more likely to access news and weather updates via their mobile apps. More than half of smartphone users in South Korea regularly use their devices for mobile banking, compared with 22 percent in Italy.
Understanding the differences among mobile consumers around the world is critical for brands looking to deploy mobile strategies in multiple markets. For more global consumer-focused insights on mobile behavior, download the full The Mobile Consumer: A Global Snapshot report here.
Nielsen will present some of the findings from The Mobile Consumer report tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Mobile World Congress.