Mobile phone adoption is huge in Europe. This really isn’t news. While Americans use their cellular phones a lot, the Western Europeans have a full-fledged love affair with their handsets, and usage is only going to grow. However, while Americans are keen to text and make calls, the Europeans are surfing the Web and will do so in greater numbers over the next half decade.
According to new report from Forrester Research, more than a third of mobile phone subscribers in Western Europe will access the Internet via their handset by 2014. And mobile Internet adoption could grow by 39 percent in Western Europe by 2014, up from 13 percent in 2008. The report stresses that the current global economic slowdown is causing consumers even in Europe to curb spending, but this isn’t affecting usage that much. In fact, European carriers have been moving towards flat-rate data plans, which in turn have increased mobile Internet adoption.
The report from Forrester suggests that in five years nearly a third of Western European consumers would own an Internet-enabled handset, up from about 17 percent today. Forrester predicts that the mobile Internet could even match the adoption patterns of PC-based Internet adoption rates for social networks, widgets and search engines. While 10 years ago in 1999, Internet usage on the PC was at about 17 percent of consumers, the same level of critical mass that Europe could see by the end of this year. And driving this trend appears to be smartphones, notably Google Android-based handsets, as well as the Samsung Omnia and the Apple iPhone.
Sprint Navigation Gets You There
While every carrier offers their own unique travel aids for mobile phones, this week I’ll highlight some of the functionality and features of Sprint Navigation. This GPS navigation service is now available on more than 60 Sprint handsets, including the Palm Pre.
The carrier was the first in the United States to offer GPS navigation in its handsets, and Sprint Navigation is now powered by TeleNav. Users are provided with 3D turn-by-turn voice-guided directions, traffic alerts with one-click rerouting, and traffic alerts with one-click rerouting. There are even options to get daily gas price updates, as well as listing for more than 10 million businesses.
The Sprint Navigation service is part of the Sprint Everything Data plans at no additional cost, or can be used for $2.99 per day with other plans (while standard data charges apply).
Opera State of the Mobile Web Summer Edition
Opera has released its findings for mobile Web usage among users using the Opera Mini browser, and the company has asked (with tongue in cheek) whether it could be that those users were in vacation this summer in Aruba or Australia. This is because usage in these distant lands have picked up, with those two nations seeing a jump in usage.
The key findings of usage are interesting, including:
- In July, nearly 29.1 million people used Opera Mini, a 9.9 percent increase from a month earlier
- Those users viewed more than 12 billion pages in July
- Those users generated nearly 187 million MB of data for operators world wide
- The top 10 countries for Opera Mini usage were (in order): Russia, Indonesia, India, China, Ukraine, South Africa, United States, Nigeria, Germany and Poland
- Usage in the Middle East is also increasing. The top 10 countries using Opera Mini in the Middle East are: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Yemen. Usage is also way up in Syria and it appears that the Iranian elections helped drive traffic usage in that nation
Opera also offered a snap shot of U.S. usage: