New data from Google released exclusively to Ad Age shows the share of smartphone users on a fast rise, at the expense of feature-phone penetration. Feature phones allow internet access, but don't have the full array of apps available to smartphones.
The Google study looked at device ownership in five key global markets. Phase two of the survey was conducted in September and October 2011 and benchmarked against an earlier round conducted in January and February of last year. In each country, it's easy to see the share of feature phones decreasing and the share of smartphones increasing.
The Google data also finds that more consumers in each of these markets now have an internet-capable mobile device than have a desktop or laptop computer. In the U.S. the difference is nearly 10% more (76% to 68%), although consumers still report accessing the internet on multiple types of devices.
Tablets were seen as gaining share, hovering around 10% in each market outside the U.S. and slightly higher (17%) here. This week Pew Research Center issued some new numbers from its ongoing internet and American Life survey that show holiday sales of tablets and e-readers have doubled market share in a matter of weeks. The new Kindles and strong iPad sales helped drive that .