iPhone drives growth of mobile maps usage

comScore today reported that the use of mobile maps is increasingly popular in the United States and Europe, with 8 percent of American mobile subscribers and 3 percent of European subscribers accessing maps from the mobile phone in the three-month period ending May 2008.  This represents a growth rate of 82 percent and 49 percent in the number of users, respectively.  According to the comScore M:Metrics Benchmark Study, the iPhone is the leading device used to access maps in the United States, and in Europe, the device trails the Nokia N95 and N70.

 

Map Access via Mobile Device

Three-month average ending May 2007 and May 2008

United States and Western Europe

Source: comScore M:Metrics

 

Users (000s)

% of Mobile Subscribers

Country

May-07

May-08

Change

May-07

May-08

France

907

1,265

40%

2.0%

2.7%

Germany

663

963

45%

1.4%

2.0%

Italy

1,595

2,142

34%

3.5%

4.6%

Spain

702

1,080

54%

2.2%

3.2%

United Kingdom

1,247

2,147

72%

2.8%

4.5%

Europe*

5,114

7,597

49%

2.4%

3.4%

United States

9,280

16,871

82%

4.4%

7.5%

*Includes top five countries listed.

“The mobile phone as a personal navigation device makes tremendous sense,” observed Mark Donovan, senior analyst, comScore. “With the influx of devices, such as the iPhone with GPS, entering the market, Nokia’s purchase of NAVTEQ and the growing popularity of downloadable navigation applications, you don’t need a map to see where this sector is going.”

According to comScore, 73 percent of mobile subscribers accessing maps are doing so via the browser in the U.S., and in Europe, 57 percent. Less than a third of Americans and Europeans are using a downloaded application, which allows even feature phones, with less computing power and often smaller screens, to better render graphic-rich maps and directions.  Despite the ubiquity of SMS usage in Europe, the penetration of consumers accessing maps and directions via SMS is 24 percent; only one percentage point higher than it is in the United States.

The vast majority of mobile map users are seeking driving directions, even in Europe, where public transportation and non-vehicular options are more popular.

 

Mode of Transport Intended to be Used when Accessing Maps

Three-month average ending May 2007 and May 2008

United States and Western Europe

Source: comScore M:Metrics

 

France

Germany

Italy

Spain

UK

US

% Penetration of Activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driving or riding in car

79.9%

62.4%

77.3%

63.9%

57.9%

85.7%

Using public transit

18.6%

30.0%

15.1%

26.1%

30.2%

14.9%

Walking, running or biking

21.5%

31.2%

19.4%

22.1%

41.0%

14.6%

While mobile access to maps has surged, online access to maps using the PC shows more modest gains in the United States and Western Europe. In the United Kingdom, which posted the highest growth in mobile access to maps at 72 percent, online access via the PC dipped from 45 percent penetration in May 2007 to 41 percent in May 2008. In the U.S., the increase in the number of users accessing maps from a mobile device far outpaced the increase in the number of people who accessed maps via the PC.

 

Map Access via PC

May 2007 and May 2008

United States and Western Europe

Source: comScore Media Metrix

 

Unique Visitors (000s)

% of Online Population

Country

May-07

May-08

Change

May-07

May-08

United States

70,471

72,327

3%

44.9

44.2

United Kingdom

14,215

14,027

-1%

45.1

40.7

Germany

11,597

12,188

5%

35.4

35.1

France

10,510

11,622

11%

40.9

37.4

Spain

5,245

5,645

8%

37.7

35.4

Italy

4,718

5,436

15%

26.2

28.3

 

 

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