BlackBerry retains #1 position on mobile browsing leader board
Bango – the mobile payments and analytics specialist – reports a 600% growth in traffic to mobile websites. The company analyzed traffic to a range of mobile sites over the last 12 months. Data was gathered by sampling across 50 million phone users worldwide who have accessed third party mobile sites through its platform.
The key findings from Bango’s annual mobile usage study record 6 times the number of visits to mobile websites, comparing December 2009 with the same month a year earlier. The average time on site is measured as 3 minutes, 21 seconds, averaged across user visits to all sites, compared with just over one and half minutes the previous year. The analysis also measured the average number of pages viewed per visit at 5 pages, up from just over 2 pages per visit twelve months before.
Over the last twelve months, these site-level figures have increased by an average of 230% compared to a year ago, with consumers visiting sites more frequently from their phones and browsing more pages over longer periods of time. The key categories for mobile browsing are news, sports and general media sites (including newspapers), mobile content downloads, social networking and retail sites.
“While industry attention has focused almost exclusively on mobile app stores, the inexorable growth of mobile web usage is the most profound trend of the last twelve months,” said Ray Anderson, Bango CEO. “This confirms the view that the single most important app on any mobile device is the browser.”
Smartphones driving growth of mobile web usage
Another key finding is that smartphones are driving the highest usage of the mobile web, with BlackBerry accounting for over 17% of the mobile devices recorded across sites.The number of visits by BlackBerry users also exceeds any other device.
According to Gartner, the top three devices for worldwide smartphone sales in 2009, in order, were Nokia, BlackBerry then the iPhone. Factoring in the relative sales growth across the different smartphone brands the data suggests that iPhone browsing has, if anything, slightly declined per user measured, which could be a result of consumers being directed towards apps instead of websites.
“The iPhone has distorted the perception of how users interact with mobile content and services,” said Anderson. “There’s a major European utility company running full page print ads to promote an iPhone app for reporting home meter readings. This shows an incredible misunderstanding of their customer base.”
Mobile Wi-Fi usage continues to grow
Bango’s analysis also reveals significant usage of Wi-Fi connections by phone users. Wi-Fi connections average at 23% of all connections measured by Bango, with some rich media sites averaging one-third of all connections through Wi-Fi. This suggests that consumers are increasingly aware of Wi-Fi on mobile handsets and will connect via
Wi-Fi where available, motivated by speed and perceived cost benefits. Sites that attract high percentages of Wi-Fi connected users include those that broadcast video, music and other streamed content.
“Mobile internet users are becoming more sophisticated when browsing,” remarks Anderson. “Bango is tracking more users switching regularly between connection types during a single day, depending upon the availability of Wi-Fi at home and work, or the convenience of a 3G connection while on the move”.
New territories appear in top browsing list
The USA remains in first place of the top 20 browsing list, followed by the UK and India in third place. In addition, compared to a year ago, countries like Indonesian and China have moved up positions and now appear in the top 10. Another interesting finding is that countries like Kenya and Sudan are also starting to move up the list. This change is driven by the lack of fixed PC internet connections, which means people rely on their mobile phones to access the internet.