Mobile RoundUp 2016: Mobile Device Sales Slow Down and Usage Continues to Climb

Now that sales of mobile devices are set to slow down to single-digit growth this year, many analysts are noting how smartphones are being effectively integrated with other media.

“The lines between desktop, mobile, TV and film are beginning to blur,” states a 2016 Comscore report on cross-platform technologies.

The report points to trends this year as increasing use of mobile apps (now accounting for almost 50 percent of all time on digital media); more use of mobile by traditional print publishers to attract new readers; and ramped-up mobile use for consumer shopping. Among other intelligence in the 2016 mobile market:

  • Slowed sales: The number of mobile phone users worldwide should edge close to 6 billion this year, a 1.7 percent increase over last year’s 4.43 billion. However, worldwide smartphone sales are slated to jump just 3.1 percent to 1.48 billion units compared to the 10.5 percent increase last year. In fact, Apple is likely to see its first down year for the iPhone. Analysts say consumers are keeping their handsets longer due to a lack of carrier subsidies.
  • Mobile time surpasses desktop: Mobile now represents 65 percent of all digital media time in the U.S., while desktop time receded to 35 percent after losing 12 percentage points since 2013.
  • B2B has to be mobile friendly: Mobile optimization continues to be crucial to businesses for driving engagement, leads and sales, according to an article on searchengineland.com citing the following 2015 research:
    • Businesses that don’t provide “a solid mobile experience” are frequently challenged by drops in organic rankings, loss of mobile site traffic and increased bounce rates.
    • Seventy-four percent of mobile site users say they’re likely to return to a mobile-friendly company site, while 48 percent feel frustrated if there isn’t one.
    • Forty-two percent of those who conduct research for B2B companies use mobile devices during the purchasing process.
  • Consumers are tied to mobile. A 2015 study reports 87 percent of consumers have their smartphone at their side day and night; 91 percent turn to their phone for ideas in the middle of a task; 68 percent check it within 15 minutes of waking up and 82 percent consult it while shopping at brick-and-mortar shops. On average, users check their phone 150 times and spend 177 minutes using them daily.
  • Mobile assists shoppers. Some 82 percent of smartphone users have used them to make product decisions, with related mobile searches increasing 120 percent over the past year. However, 37 percent said they switch to their desktops for the actual purchase.
  • Banking by mobile is inching up, but it’s not yet as popular as banking by desktop. A 2015 Federal Reserve report shows 43 percent of mobile phone users with bank accounts used mobile banking in the year prior, up from 39 percent in 2014.
  • Certain industries are revolutionizing. In the Wall Street Journal, Joe Mullich discusses industries slated to be disrupted by mobile technology: Airlines; automotive; banking; education; energy; health care; hotels; market research; politics and publishing.
  • Mobile is transforming customer engagement. “With information just a click away and consumers increasingly using Smartphones to search products and services while out and about, digital discovery needs to be intuitive,” writes Stacy DeBroff on business.com. “Business leaders should make sure their company’s online profile proves easy to find and engagement feels seamless across multiple social media platforms.”

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