We echo a blog post of Aecomo (Spanish Association of Mobile Communications) on the effect that the popularization of smartphones has on the SMS traffic, which allows us to make a few comments:
The Smartphone becomes the SMS “killer”
Pixmania.com has analyzed the change in the consumption pattern of mobile telephones proving a significant increase over the last year in the sales of smartphones in its Web. According to Pixmania, Spaniards increasingly replace traditional messaging services such as SMS or MMS by the instant messaging of social networks or of the devices themselves, such as BlackBerry.
And to talk or to send SMSs is no longer important due to the growing demand by consumers for more features in their phones, even the camera which was so popular some time ago has stopped making sense without a data plan that allows the user to share them in real time through social networks or instant messaging. Thus, the sales of these types of mobiles have increased by 96% worldwide in the third quarter of this year compared to the previous one, reaching 80.5 million handsets, according to a study by Gartner.
“True to the global trend, the demand for mobiles in our Wide has increased considerably this year, especially in the range of smartphones. An increasingly large portion of our users consult us before buying the phone if it has access to Messenger, Facebook, or even Twitter, which gives us an indication of the trend in this direction, where this category of devices is no longer exclusive to corporate and business environments to become a full item of consumption”, asserts David Alves, head of business development at Pixmania for southern Europe.
Another important aspect that has directly influenced the adoption of such devices is the use of third-party applications, another trend that also began in professional environments and today is one of the biggest attractions when choosing a smartphone. So, either a BlackBerry with its Blackberry Messenger, a Samsung Galaxy, an LG or the so popular iPhone, consumers increasingly prefer them to be constantly connected and in touch with friends and/or family.
Among them, as stated in Gartner’s study, the devices using Goggle’s operating system, Android, are the ones which have grown more already with a market share of 25.5% in the third quarter of 2010 as compared to 3.5% last year. One of the last devices of this type that works better with users of the Web is the Motorola Milestone XT720 or the Acer Liquid E S100.
Meanwhile, Nokia has gone from a market share of 44.6% in 2009 to 36.6% in 2010, although it remains the king maker of mobile telephones and this is reflected in the Web sales, with the star product of this range, the Nokia N8. It is followed by Samsung, Apple and RIM (Blackberry), with their latest flagships, Samsung Galaxy S, iPhone 4 and Blackberry Torch, respectively.
This is the interested piece of news that leads us to an interesting approach. According to recent studies, in certain age bands, we are experiencing a significant behavioral change in mobile communications: the replacement of the use of mail by the use of social networks. Gartner and Pixmania studies make us see other trends:
- The shift to mobile (and personal) communications seems inevitable for users’ everyday use.
- Smartphones and everything they bring is here to stay and their evolution is unstoppable.
- One of the doubtful issues about the use of smartphones was whether there was a market for their functionalities because, after all, these devices make sense with a data connection. The widespread use of social networks, especially among users who are buying these devices, is a majority. We have gone from an occasional use of social platforms to an always on.
- All this places the emphasis on a concern already expressed by mobile operators: the use of their networks for services that, in their opinion, does not impact as positively as it should on their income statements. If to the use of the services themselves we add the impact on key services in the operators’ billing (such as SMS), the discussion is served
Are the data rates associated with the purchase of smartphones sufficient to support the business model of mobile data? We would like to have your feedback.