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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : July 26, 2012

Smartphones to surpass feature phones by year's end

But you don't know anyone who is still operating on a feature phone? They are out there, but maybe not for long. According to new data from comScore almost half of feature phone owners who switched devices in April switched to a smartphone. Nearly 70% chose an Android device while 25% opted for an iPhone.

by Kristina Knight

Those numbers are prompting comScore researchers to predict that smartphone owner will surpass feature phone owners - for the first time - by the end of 2012.

"The growing number of smartphones available to consumers, accompanied by the decrease in price points and surge in mobile media content, have made smartphone ownership possible and desirable for many more Americans," said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of Mobile. "Within the year, we expect to see smartphone owners become the mobile majority, a milestone that represents not only the evolution of the mobile landscape but highlights the enormous potential for marketers as these powerful, ubiquitous devices open new opportunities to reach a growing audience of consumers."

Because of the increase in smartphone ownership retailers are beginning to step up their mobile game. According to the e-tailing group's 3rd Annual Mobile Mystery Shopping Study the number of retailers only 5 reached a score of 80 on a scale of 100 points in 2011; in 2012 10 stores surpassed the 80-point mark.

the e-tailing group scores websites on five key pages, presence and merchandising execution as well as accessibility and customer service. More important than the 80 score is that the average score on their index increased from 64.56 to 71.53 - indicating that retailers are taking more notice of the mobile components of their business.

"All key indicators are up, and we expect mobile sites to continue their rapid evolution in order to meet the customer's omni-channel expectations that include efficiencies, cross channel access and merchandising consistent with the best-of-the-web," said Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group. "The goal of our 3rd Annual Mobile Mystery Shopping Study was to follow this evolution as the gap between channels narrows, sharing with the ecommerce industry important benchmarks that shape the customer-centric, mobile user experience."

The full report can be downloaded here.

Tags: comScore, m:commerce, mobile commerce, mobile marketing, the e-tailing group

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