iPhone: Not a top 20 handset for browsing and buying on the mobile web

1 04 2009

If you are thinking in focusing your mobile advertising just on the iPhone, keep reading!
Just in case, this is not an April Fool’s joke 🙂

According to statistics released on Monday by Bango, when it comes to the most popular phones for browsing and buying content on the mobile web worldwide, the iPhone sits outside the top 20. The Bango Top 20 handset list, based on Bango’s February statistics, puts the Nokia 3110c on top, followed by the Samsung M800 in 2nd and the Nokia 6300 in 3rd. The iPhone appears at 24th on the list.
This data represents the activities of major brands and businesses as their consumers browse to mobile websites (measured by Bango Analytics) and buy mobile content and services (as measured by Bango Payment).
The stats come from the month of February when 1.1 million unique visitors browsed to mobile websites as monitored by Bango’s Analytics service (customers include the Financial Times and MTV) and bought mobile content and services using Bango’s Payment service (customers include Thumbplay, Buongiorno, Gameloft, EA Games).
This sample size is certainly considerably larger than trials carried out by comScore and others. With global penetration of the iPhone at 1% according to Gartner, brands need to look beyond the iPhone to reach the mass market.

Let’s have a look at our site mobislim.wap.com and check the footprint that iPhones left on our Bango Analytics center:
January 0,44% of the devices that access our mobile site where iPhones, from a total of 614 devices and 25,040 page views.
February saw a 1.32% of iPhones from 313 devices and 5,738 pageviews (you can tell we didn’t run any campaigns…)
And March shows another increase with 1,41% of iPhones from 331 devices and 6,303 page views.

Check this out by yourself in our analytics center!

Putting this into context, as you probably know the iPhone browses “normal” site content but it doesn’t handle Flash, and you can’t follow links that lead to the download of content or files.   It can also be a pretty painful experience for large, complex sites – compare m.ft.com with ft.com and you get the picture.

For that reason, many sites are producing specially adapted sites for the iPhone. Look at how much better iphone.facebook.com is than facebook.com – in fact even Apple has an iPhone specific version of parts of apple.com.  So, we are seeing more and more businesses detecting the mobile Safari on their PC website and pushing them to the iPhone adapted site.
Personally, I have an iPhone and like many of my friends I think it’s really fun to use.  So what do think?  Does this make you re-appraise your mobile advertising plans?

If you want more analysis on this story read Ray Anderson’s post on blog.bango.com

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