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Smartphone Apps Usage Attracts U.S. Marketers


Mobile phone penetration within the U.S. market is estimated by eMarketer at nearly 80 percent in 2010. Moreover, the American mobile service subscriber market potential has now reached a critical mass of active users that are increasingly receptive to marketing messages.

As the mobile space becomes more important for U.S. marketer's efforts, they must keep pace with the changing scene, according to the latest eMarketer assessment.

"As feature phones give way to smartphones and tablet devices, mobility is taking on new dimensions," said Noah Elkin, eMarketer senior analyst.

The ability to create, share and consume more multimedia content translates into increased user engagement on mobile devices. It also means enhanced opportunities for marketers to reach out to potential customers via this additional mobile digital media exposure.

These new mobile marketing opportunities are being driven by the rise of smartphone adoption.

The percentage of U.S. consumers thinking about buying a smartphone has doubled since the beginning of 2008, according to ChangeWave Research, and Nielsen expects smartphones to be in the hands of half of U.S. mobile users by the end of Q3 2011.

As mobile handsets evolve, so do content consumption and usage patterns. As a result, mobile phone service providers and their marketing or content partners have transitioned to a focus on data services.

Furthermore, social networks are becoming the primary way mobile users exchange information. According to comScore, use of social networking applications increased by 240 percent between April 2009 and April 2010.

With social network users adopting various forms of mobile content, according to Edison Research and Arbitron, the growth in mobile apps also suggests further increases in content consumption -- and the need to pay for that content either through user fees or sponsor advertising.

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