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OPLIN 4Cast #238: Mobile update

Posted in 4cast

Mobile computing, whether on smartphones or on tablets, continues to grow. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen several studies that quantify that growth and point out some interesting trends in mobile computing. So in this week’s 4cast, we’re sharing some of these items, in no particular order, as an FYI for our readers. If there is a message here for libraries, it would probably be: make sure your wi-fi network can handle the future.

  • Switching rates for US smartphone users suggest 50% penetration by August 2012 (asymco/Horace Dediu)  “Through the three month period ending May 2011, smartphones were in use by 76.8 million or about one in three US phone users. […] A total of 513k users switched into using a smartphone every week during the period, a rate of switching consistent with the last 17 periods (average of 510k/wk).”
  • comScore reports May 2011 U.S. mobile subscriber market share (comScore)  “In May, 69.5 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device. Browsers were used by 39.8 percent of subscribers (up 1.5 percentage points), while downloaded applications were used by 38.6 percent (up 2.0 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 1.8 percentage points to 28.6 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 26.9 percent of the mobile audience (up 2.3 percentage points), while 18.6 percent listened to music on their phones.”
  • A portrait of today’s tablet user (presentation of Online Publishers Association/Frank N. Magid Assoc., Inc.) [pdf]  “Tablet users view tablets as their preferred reading device over computers and printed media for many types of content and information. 87% of tablet users (nearly 25 million consumers) seek content and information on a regular basis. Long-form video is preferred over short clips on tablets.”
  • How we use the tools we choose: a week of worldwide usage data (ReadWriteWeb/Brian David Eoff)  “The iPad’s usage pattern is drastically different. Usage dips after breakfast, remains low during traditional working hours and does not peak until much later in the evening. During the weekends iPad usage between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. is higher than it is during the week at those same hours. No other device sees a heavy increase of use during the weekends, showing that the iPad is used as an entertainment device and differs from both smartphones and browsers.”

Comparison fact:
The latest Connect Ohio Technology Assessment indicates that, unlike smartphone ownership, desktop computer ownership in Ohio is starting to decline for the first time, from 82% of residents in 2010 to 80% in 2011.