US accounts for 5% of all mobile subscribers, but has 21% of data revenues and 40% of smartphone sales

The US mobile market has grown up very fast over the past few years. And it looks like alongside better mobile data speeds and better coverage also came bigger revenues, as well as incredible numbers for smartphone sales. Those things do after all pretty much go together.

A few years ago Western and Northern Europe were all the rage with their extended 3G/3.5G/3.75G networks and a very big share of worldwide revenue in the mobile space.

But now the US has become an impressive contender, undoubtedly helped by the smartphone craze started with Apple’s iPhone and continued by Google’s Android operating system.

The US now has just 5% of all mobile subscribers worldwide, but it manages to take in 17% of the global service revenues, and 21% of the global mobile data revenues. Furthermore, 40% of all the smartphones sold in the world are now being sold in the US.

In fact, smartphones accounted for 65% of the mobile devices sold in the US in the fourth quarter of 2011. But that’s overall, with both prepaid and postpaid sales. US carriers are seeing up to 80% of postpaid sales (read: on contract) being of smartphones.

Those are impressive numbers, but they’re not the only ones. Mobile data revenues for 2011 in the US were at $67 billion, which represents 39% of the overall mobile market in the country. The tendency is obviously for data revenues to take even higher amounts of the market. The mobile data revenues for 2012 are forecast to grow to $80 billion.

Mobile data traffic has doubled in 2011, for the 8th consecutive year. The mobile data consumption is expected to be double that in 2012. Data now constitutes 85% of all the mobile traffic in the US. An interesting thing to note is that 30% of smartphone users average using more than 1 GB of mobile data per month. And with more and more data-intensive services becoming available, the trend will probably be for more smartphone owners to consume even more data in the coming years.

All the above numbers come from Always On Real-Time Access, and its US market update for Q4 2011 and the whole of 2011. They paint a picture of a mobile market dominated by smartphones and data usage, something which will clearly not change in the future.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

Share This Post On