[t]he Games category leaped from fourth place at year-end 2007 into the second spot behind the Entertainment category.
It also reports that
‘Ringtones’ was the most searched term in the first half of 2008, and ‘games’ was a near second, up from number three in the second half of 2007. ‘Themes,’ ‘GPS,’ ‘weather,’ and ‘music’ also make the list of the top 10 searches.”
I then asked myself what the heck is a smartphone? Mobile advertising guys Admob note that
[t]here is no standard industry definition of a smartphone. We [Admob] automatically classify a device as a smartphone when it has an identifiable operating systen and continually update our list as new phones with advanced functionality enter the market.
Globally, Nokia rules the pack: the top 4 smartphones are all from the Finnish giant (Admob numbers), and all N-Series devices, namely the N70, N95, N73 and N80. In the US however, there is not a single Nokia phone (or rather, as they would put it, “multimedia device”) amongst the top 20 smartphones. According to Handango, 2 Blackberry devices (8830 and Curve) were the top 2 devices, according to Admob (not representative), it was the Blackberry 8100, the Palm Centro and the Blackberry 8300). Globally, these don’t really feature: Nokia has a market share of a whopping 62.4%!
The more interesting facts are unfortunately from confidential information from the likes of M:Metrics. Without giving too much away, the top devices for games consumption (downloaded) are the iPhone and Nokia’s N95, both with quite some margin ahead of everyone else (and the iPhone with quite some margin ahead of Nokia’s performance monster). This does indeed show that a powerful handset (or at least one with powerful UI) promotes content consumption, which is, I’m afraid to say, old news indeed.
So, no news then?
MoCoNews points us to an article reporting about some noteworthy stuff on the usage of the revamped ESPN Mobile (you will recall that the full-blown MVNO they had tanked horribly and the service was then re-launched as a mobile internet destination). They (well, not they but “an executive briefed on the data”) said that for one 24-hour period, ESPN’s wireless NFL section, with 4.9 million visits, topped the PC NFL section’s 4.5 million visits. And that’s impressive!
In the same article, M:Metrics was quoted to point out that it was convenience that did the trick, and this is of course where the data might be a bit distorted (it might not be but it’s unclear): ESPN Mobile is available in two flavours. ESPN MVP is exclusively to Verizon high-end data subscribers who get it for free. So this basically supports the case that the mobile internet will become a fully-fledged “competitor” to the “old” internet once bandwidth and cost for bandwidth will be similar to the internet proper; and that is not a big miracle, is it? The normal ESPN Mobile is available to anyone but may be subject to data charges. It would be interesting to know the shares the two sites/apps have in the above data.
But I don’t want to divert from the fact that 4.9m mobile hits inside 24 hours is great by any measure. Sport is a wonderful starting point for mobile internet usage anyway as it is so time-sensitive (it is not really the same thing to record a live game and then watch it hours later after the city is steeped in the team colours already) and people all over the world are so passionate about their favourite sports and teams. Great stuff, surely!