We talk and think a lot about mobile marketing. But frankly, only a small proportion of cell phone users have devices that are equipped for any substantial web interfacing. But that may soon change—Nielsen predicts that smartphones will make up the majority of the cell phone market in two years.
MediaPost reports that by mid-2011, half of cell phone subscribers, about 150M people, will be using smart devices. Smartphones are already showing a marked increase—Nielsen predicts that Q4 of this year will show that 40% of new phones sold are smart devices (as opposed to the Q309, slowest quarter in recent memory with smart devices accounting for only 25% of new phones).
I think that smartphone adoption will be crucial to mobile marketing finally taking off in the US. The fact that most phones today are still incapable of real web browsing has contributed to the slow start to mobile marketing. I’ve been saying for years that a better web browsing experience, like that of a smartphone, is crucial to the success of mobile marketing. And Nielsen agrees:
Nielsen also anticipates more users paying for video and premium content on their phones.
What do you think? Will smartphones reach this much of the market in another 18 months? Will 2011 be the year of the mobile?