- The adoption rate of mobile devices is off the charts. There are about 120 million smart phone devices in the United States and between 40 to 45 million tablets.
- The Television and Video Game industries are offering increasing amounts of supplemental content optimized for mobile devices broadly to encourage multi-screen engagement and specifically to encourage social interaction and the discovery of secret content or levels.
- As mobile technology works through its growing pains, many publishers have to choose between having a really great robust app experience versus a really good browser experience.
- Responsive web design is a great concept, but not many sites, other than the major brands can take advantage of it. Often times, you will get a “Plain Jane” mobile experience because it's the same site getting translated across a number of devices.
- An average user downloads approximately 50 apps during the course of their 2 year phone contract, but they tend to use only 7 to 10 applications regularly.
- Many users want to spend more time with apps because the user experience is much more fluid than a browser. However, when it comes to making the all important conversion, whether it’s submitting personal information or not, people feel a lot more comfortable going through the browser.
- Apps that take advantage of cross-platform functionality are finding much greater success than those that don’t.
- Google and Bing's mobile search results are more action than description driven. There are a lot more quick links that are available versus the more general, broad descriptions.
- In many cases, the conversion actually happens offline. Users have learned to engage with mobile search in this way, and there has been a tremendous growth in requests for data on a hyper-local level.
- There is a huge intersection between mobile and social media and all the other formats of media that exist and create an overall advertisers brand. Brands need to view mobile as part of a converged effort in order to make their brand standout.
Full Interview Transcript
Eric Enge: What are your thoughts about the mobile market?
Diran: The adoption rate, obviously, is off the charts. We have about 120 million smart phone devices in use here in the United States. This took about 10 years to reach. Tablet devices have grown much faster than that. We are at 40 to 45 million devices in just two to two and a half years.
It used to be that people were slow to adopt new technology that required some initial set up or to use something completely new, but I think the iPhone changed that, and the iPad did it for the tablet market.
In terms of usage and consumer behavior, people are much more comfortable with these devices. It used to be that people were slow to adopt new technology that required some initial set up or to use something completely new, but I think the iPhone changed that, and the iPad did it for the tablet market. People are much more comfortable spending most of their time attached to these devices.
It's a very personal thing. People like the customizability and personalization of these devices. That's a big part of the reason why Android gets a lot of popular attention. Not only is there a broad range of devices to choose from but Android users also have more choices in home screen customization and what widgets they can use, whereas iPhones are a lot more rigid with their grid layout.
On a cultural level, people are making shifts in their behavior, whether it’s consciously or subconsciously, in order to incorporate this mobile lifestyle. I don't think a lot of research has actually been done to understand the long term effects for what this means for consumers. We are seeing a lot of changes and are going to continue to see them with the advent of new technology, new platforms, and faster Internet. It’s going to continuously evolve at an even quicker rate.
Eric Enge: Is part of the reason for the rapid growth of the tablet market due to smartphone's relatively small screen size?
Diran: It could be, as tablets are in between devices. The smartphone is something that people have with them all the time and is portable to the point where it can slip into their pocket; a smaller screen actually has a benefit. However, we are also seeing a trend of the size of smartphone’s screens increasing. The Galaxy Note 2 that came out recently has a 5.5 inch screen which isn’t that much smaller than the 7 inch iPad Mini or the Galaxy Nexus 7. The line between tablets and smartphones is becoming increasingly blurry. Some of that growth is probably related to the screen size because you did have the 10 inch iPad type of tablets, but now you are getting the wide screen devices in the 7 inch tablets that are quickly outpacing the sales of the previous generation of tablets.
While there may have been some correlation between screen sizes in terms of adoption that is being blurred very quickly. People who have smart phones tend to also buy tablets. About 25% of Smartphone users also own tablet devices.
Tablets and smartphones are being used in different ways. People on their phones are messaging, using them as a way to connect to the Internet and to be social. Tablet devices also have many of these capabilities, minus the phone bit, but people are using them a lot more in their down time at home. They use tablets to read books, to consume media and content, and as a second or even third screen to their television.