Despite having highly-capable smartphones that can take advantage of the Web, business professionals are out-surfed by multitasking parents three to one when it comes to browsing the mobile Internet, according to new data by mobile service provider Novarra.
According to Novarra's June "Mobile Internet Experience Update" report (.pdf), mobile Millenials, multitasking parents and their connected kids all as individual groups out-surf business professionals, who make up just 12 percent of all mobile browsing sessions. In comparison, Millenials generate 37 percent of sessions, while parents generate 29 percent and their kids generate 14 percent. Only "frugal fanatics" -- barebones "dumb" phone users -- generate less, with 8 percent.
With reach to 1 billion of the world's 4 billion phones, Novarra's Mobile Internet Experience report tracks usage trends by aggregating global usage data and extrapolating it.
The report categorizes users in the following way:
- Business Professionals: Use RIM BlackBerry or Palm Pre; e-mail, browse and read news; most dependent users ("near addiction") with heaviest usage overall
- Multitasking Parents: Use LG Chocolate or Cookie; search, shop, text children; constant communication necessary
- Mobile Millenials: Use Apple iPhone or T-Mobile G1; text, browse, use apps and social media; inseparable from devices and set mobile trends
- Connected Kids: Use Sony Ericsson Walkman or Samsung Propel; text and social media; teach parents how to tweet and text
- Frugal Fanatics: Use whatever's free; text call, customize ringtones and wallpaper; get most use out of limited phone feature set
Interestingly, despite a minority of true smartphone devices on the market, non-smartphone users generate as much or more raw Web data than smartphone users, according to the report.
In terms of categorical usage, business pros read news, sports and information twice as much as any other group. By comparison, business pros use social networks the least (Millenials and kids use them the most).
Overall, the older the population, the more information and less entertainment is sought ought on a mobile device.
Market differences exist. Tech maturation, cultural differences and broadband penetration all play a role, which is why finance is a top 3 category in India but rarely in the Top 10 in the U.S.
The long tail exists. The top site "usually accounts for about five percent of the total pageviews." The top 500 sites only account for 25 to 30 percent of total traffic.
Finally, users tend to visit a mix of mobile and traditional sites, "based on personal preference and the functionality offered." For many businesses, that means making your site more functional for your audience, rather than just commissioning a mobile version.