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Apps for Maps: Smartphones Drive Gains in U.S. Mobile Navigation

June 28, 2010

Apps for Maps: Smartphones Drive Gains in U.S. Mobile Navigation
smartphone

RESTON, VA (RPRN) 06/28/10 — More Mobile Users Now Accessing Maps via Application than via Browser

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study on mobile map usage based on data from its comScore MobiLens service. The study found that 14 percent of mobile users in the U.S. accessed maps on their devices in April 2010, as the mobile map audience reached 33.5 million users, up 44 percent from the previous year. The study also found that more mobile users now access maps via application than via browser, demonstrating the success of applications in penetrating the mobile map market.

People are increasingly turning to their mobile phone for maps and directions when on the go,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “With summer travel season upon us, we expect even more mobile users to access both maps and location-based local search to help them navigate and find geographically relevant information.”

 

Mobile Map Access via Apps Now Trumps Browsers

For the three month period ending April 2010, 26 percent of smartphone users accessed maps via applications, while 19 percent accessed maps via browser in a month. In comparison, just 2 percent of feature phone users accessed maps via applications, with 4 percent doing so via browser. Smartphone users drove growth in both application and browser map usage with app access nearly tripling to 12.7 million smartphone users, while browser map access surged 93 percent to nearly 9 million smartphone users. The number of mobile map app users first surpassed mobile map browser users in February 2010.

Smartphone* and Feature Phone Browser and Application Usage for Map Access
3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Total Audience (000)
Apr-09 Apr-10 % Change
Accessed Maps via Application      
Total Mobile Market 8,708 16,773 93
Smartphone 4,594 12,740 177
Feature Phone 4,114 4,033 -2
       
Accessed Maps via Browser      
Total Mobile Market 11,819 15,569 32
Smartphone 4,649 8,959 93
Feature Phone 7,170 6,610 -8

*comScore defines smartphones as a mobile device with the following operating systems: RIM, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Palm, Symbian

Mobile Maps Most Likely to be Accessed in a Vehicle

For the three month period ending April 2010, 33.5 million mobile users accessed maps at least once during a month, an increase of 44 percent from the previous year. Visitors accessing maps 1-3 times per month increased 47 percent to 17.1 million users, while those accessing once a week increased 60 percent to 11.6 million users. The most frequent users, those accessing maps on a near daily basis, climbed 9 percent to reach 4.8 million users.

Total Mobile Market Map Access Frequency
Apps for Maps: Smartphones Drive Gains in U.S. Mobile Navigation
iPhone

3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Frequency of Map Access Total Audience (000)
Apr-09 Apr-10 % Change
Total Audience: 13+ yrs old [Age] 232,000 234,000 1
At Least Once in Month 23,277 33,496 44
1-3 Times in Month 11,598 17,065 47
Once Each Week 7,278 11,618 60
Almost Every Day 4,400 4,812 9

Among those who accessed maps on their mobile devices, 87.2 percent did so from a car or other vehicle, with 17.2 percent doing so while walking, running or biking, and 16.7 percent while using public transit. The most utilized types of maps were graphical maps with turn-by-turn directions (60.3 percent of mobile maps users), followed by 50.6 percent using a graphical map without turn-by-turn directions and 46.8 percent using turn-by-turn directions without a graphical map.

Mobile Map Usage by Mode of Travel and Type of Map
3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2010
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens

% of Mobile Users Accessing Maps
Mode of Travel Used or Intended to be Used When Accessing Maps:*  
Driving or riding in a car or other vehicle 87.2%
Walking or running or biking 17.2%
Using public transit 16.7%
   
Type of Map or Directions Accessed: *  
Graphical map with turn by turn directions 60.3%
Graphical map without turn by turn directions 50.6%
Turn by turn directions without graphical map 46.8%

*Percentages will not sum to 100% as respondents may select more than one mode of transport or type of map accessed

“87 percent of mobile navigation users are accessing maps and directions while driving,” noted Donovan, “Clearly indicating that the rising sophistication of smartphones poses a challenge to dedicated GPS systems.”

About comScore

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

Apps for Maps: Smartphones Drive Gains in U.S. Mobile Navigation
HTC Magic Android Mobile Phone

Media Contact Name: Sarah Radwanick Senior Analyst
Media E-mail:
Media Phone: +1 312 775 6538
Media Web Address: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/6/Apps_for_Maps_Smartphones_Drive_Gains_in_U.S._Mobile_Navigation
Main image credits: technorati
Body image credits: Apple corporation
Extra image credits: google inc.
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