iPhone Use Growing Quickly Outside of U.S., Says Report

Half of all Apple iPhone use currently takes place in the United States, but use abroad is growing more quickly, according to an overview of the 2009 smartphone market by AdMob.

While half of all iPhone and iPod Touch use takes place in the United States, use of these devices grew more quickly abroad in 2009 than it did at home, according to a recent AdMob report that judged use by how often devices requested AdMob ads.
The Apple mobile devices are used in 23 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Germany, which represent 8 percent, 6 percent, 4 percent and another 4 percent of users, respectively. However, it's Japan, which represents 3 percent of iPhone and iPod Touch users, France with 6 percent and Australia with 3 percent that have the fastest-growing adoption rates among the top 10 countries using the Apple devices.
"Although the United States remains by far the largest market for Apple devices, we've seen faster growth of Apple users from outside the U.S," AdMob wrote in a Dec. 18 blog post. "In November, 50 percent of the unique iPhone and iPod Touches that requested an AdMob ad were outside the United States, compared to only 39 percent in January 2009."
In the report, citing data from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, AdMob wrote, "Sales of the iPhone and iPod Touch continued to be strong in 2009, and analysts believe that cumulative Apple sales of the two devices could reach 78 million by the end of 2009." (In May, Munster was among those predicting that Apple was at work on a tablet device.)
The report also found smartphones to be generating 48 percent of all mobile Web and application traffic-up from 30 percent a year ago-and the percentage of Wi-Fi requests from U.S. devices to have tripled over the year. In November 2008, AdMob said, 8 percent of requests in the United States were made over a Wi-Fi network, although by November 2009 that had grown to 24 percent.
Additionally, it was the iPhone, more than any other smartphone, racking up those Wi-Fi requests. In the United States, 36 percent of iPhone traffic was over Wi-Fi, while Android devices used Wi-Fi hot spots less than 10 percent of the time, AdMob found.
U.S. iPhone provider AT&T offers subscribers access to its over 24,000 hot spots, while Motorola Droid provider Verizon only began offering subscribers Wi-Fi access in December, and even then it was for netbooks and notebooks, but not smartphones. In December, McDonald's announced that it will begin offering free Wi-Fi to customers in January.
Android device use skyrocketed during the year, as new devices came to market. While six months ago T-Mobile's G1 accounted for 92 percent of Android traffic, in November, the same device (aka the HTC Dream) accounted for 37 percent of requests. The Motorola Droid was responsible for 22 percent, the HTC Magic for 21 percent and HTC Hero for 9 percent of Android requests worldwide, according to AdMob.
"Traffic from Android devices has increased dramatically over the last year, particularly with the new devices launched in the last two months," stated the report, which shows ad requests from Android devices rising from 20 percent in October to 27 percent a month later.
"As the number of Android devices proliferates around the world, the popular Android handsets may vary from region to region," the report said. "In the United States, the Motorola Droid quickly became the No. 2 handset with heavy marketing support from Verizon. In the United Kingdom, the HTC Dream, HTC Magic and HTC Hero make up 92 percent of Android requests."
In November, 88 percent of Android traffic was generated in the United States, while the second-largest market, the United Kingdom, had 4 percent of requests. Data from research company IDC has also shown European customers to be slow to warm to Google's Android OS.
Worldwide in November, AdMob reported that Apple was the top manufacturer, with 38.4 percent of ad requests coming from Apple devices. Nokia followed, with 16.3 percent of shares, and Samsung came in third with 11.1 percent.
The iPhone OS also led in requests, with 54 percent of ad requests worldwide. The Symbian OS followed, with 19 percent of requests, and with 16 percent, Android came in third, beating out Research In Motion's OS, from which 6 percent of requests came.