Six months after the iPhone's U.S. launch, has the device changed the mobile landscape? According to M:Metrics, the mobile media authority, the answer is yes. Today, the measurement firm reports that the iPhone is already the most popular device for accessing news and information on the mobile Web, with 85 percent of iPhone users accessing news and information in the month of January.
"The iPhone has certainly delivered on its hype," said Mark Donovan, senior analyst, M:Metrics. "Beyond a doubt, this device is compelling consumers to interact with the mobile Web, delivering off-the-charts usage from everything to text messaging to mobile video."
M:Metrics found that a staggering 30.9 percent of iPhone owners watched mobile TV or video, versus a 4.6 market average, and more than double the rate for all smartphone users. Usage of social networking is also popular among iPhone users: 49.7 percent accessed a social networking site in January, nearly twelve times the market average. Twenty percent of iPhone owners accessed Facebook, one of the first Web properties to customize its content for the iPhone, versus 1.5 percent of the total mobile market.
"This data indicate that the iPhone's widgets are an effective means to drive mobile content consumption," observed Donovan. "Two featured widgets, YouTube and Google Maps, are extremely popular among iPhone users: 30.4 percent accessed YouTube and 36 percent used Google Maps. In comparison, only one percent of all mobile subscribers accessed YouTube and 2.6 percent checked out Google Maps."
M:Metrics is also the first to report use of the music playing capability of the iPhone, with 74.1 percent of iPhone owners listening to mobile music in January, compared to 6.7 percent of the total mobile audience. Eighty four percent of iPhone owners who use an MP3 player use an iPod.
M:Metrics revealed the demographic composition of iPhone users, which are similar to the demographics of other smartphone owners. They are more likely to be: male, aged 25-34, earn more than $100,000 and have a college degree, than the average mobile subscriber.
"While the demographics of iPhone users are very similar to all smartphone owners, the iPhone is outpacing other smartphones in driving mobile content consumption by a significant margin," said Donovan. "In addition to the attributes of the device itself, another important factor to consider is the fact that all iPhones on AT&T are attached to an unlimited data plan. Our data shows that once the fear of surprise data charges is eliminated, mobile content consumption increases dramatically, regardless of device."
M:Metrics applies trusted media measurement methodologies to assess the audience for mobile content and applications. As the world's most authoritative mobile media measurement firm, M:Metrics delivers the most accurate mobile market metrics through the world's largest monthly survey of mobile subscribers as well as automated data collection methodologies. Below are the findings of its January Benchmark Survey.