Study: US Spends More Time on Mobile Web than UK
A recent study conducted by M:Metrics showed that American smartphone users spend an average of 4 hours and 38 minutes per month on the mobile internet, compared to 2.5 hours per month spent by smartphone users in the United Kingdom. In addition, in the States there has been a 89% increase in mobile browsing year over year, and a 127% increase in page views.
To retrieve the data, 3500 smartphone users were sampled in the US as well as 3500 in the UK. Each subject in the study had either a Windows, Symbian, or Palm device with which to browse the internet. This actually intrigues me, as this excludes mobile browsing done by iPhone users. (I believe iPhone users spend even more time browsing the internet because of ease of use and popularity of web apps. Expect it to increase even more with widespread release of the 3G iPhone.)
Why is there such a difference? Paul Goode, senior analyst for M:Metrics, explains that a possible reason for the discrepancy is the popularity of flat-rate data plans in the States. As it turns out, almost 11% of mobile users have an unlimited plan in the US compared to only 2.3% in Britain. He also mentions that US users have smartphones with QWERTY devices — “nine of the top ten smartphones are QWERTY”, he says — whereas in Britain the majority of smartphones do NOT have QWERTY keyboards.
Finally, the study also finds that social networking and internet commerce take up most of the users’ time while browsing. Craigslist gets the most time by American users and Facebook wins the award for most time spent by Brits.
This study matters because it shows the rapidly increasing popularity of mobile internet in the US. More and more people are turning to the internet browser on their phones not only to make their lives more convenient, but to keep up with old friends and burn free time. And it makes sense as phones access the internet faster each year and new browsers with increased capabilities can be downloaded onto our smartphones. I predict that this trend will continue to increase at an even faster pace in the coming years!