The numbers from Apple’s earnings release this past week were staggering. In addition to racking up over $15 billion in revenue, the company reported that it sold 8.7 million iPhones, nearly double the quantity from the same quarter a year earlier.

The iPhone has created a lot of buzz around mobile. Since our business revolves around the mobile internet, I get a lot of requests for more specific growth rates and usage numbers. In other words, “show me data, not hype!”

Below is a list of reports that quantify just how rapidly the mobile internet is growing. I’ve included a little background about and a couple of highlights from each report.

  • Quantcast Mobile Web Trends Report – Quantcast is an analytics firm that tracks traffic through websites. From its statistics, mobile web viewing now accounts for 1.26% of pageviews in North America. While not a large number, it represents an increase of 110% through 2009. It’s also interesting to note that iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices account for 85% of mobile web traffic in North America. The full report is worth downloading and reading, as well as this summary by Techcrunch.
  • Net Applications – Net Applications is another web analytic firm similar to Quantcast. Their statistics indicate that mobile web viewing accounted for 1.35% of internet pageviews in December 2009, double the number from February 2009, and a 30% increase from November 2009. Interesting that two independent data sources have arrived at nearly the same set of numbers.
  • Neilsen 2010 Fact Sheet – Neilsen provides market research to media companies. Their research shows that 60.7M people used the mobile internet in the US (33% increase over 2008), 25% of devices sold during Q3 2009 were smartphones, and 40-50% of the devices sold in 2010 will be smartphones.
  • Opera mini Monthly Report – Every month Opera issues a report showing the amount of pageviews and data they have processed through their dedicated mobile web browser, Opera mini. For December 2009, the statistics show a 228% year-over-year growth in mobile page views and a 128% growth in unique users. These numbers are impressive, since they reflect people using the Opera mini browser, which leaves out nearly all iPhone and Android users.
  • Morgan Stanley Mobile Internet Report – Morgan Stanley issued an absolute behemoth of a report last October that could arguably be called the definitive state of the mobile internet. Be warned – it’s a huge report. In it, Morgan Stanley asserts that mobile will be 10x bigger than the desktop and will be adopted much faster. They show comparison adoption graphs illustrating how mobile is being adopted 8x faster than equivalent desktop technologies. If you’re looking for a quick overview, Techcrunch did a great summary of the report.

Now that you know the numbers, have you checked a mobile device to see what your mobile presence looks like? If not, you need to, and fast. A market survey performed by Gomez, Inc. last October found that poor mobile web experiences impact consumers’ brand perceptions and traffic. Yes, I know it’s yet another report to read, but it’s worth checking out.

Now’s the time to get ahead of the curve and start optimizing your website and online content for the mobile environment. Otherwise, you risk losing customers and possible business to those that have.

Feel free to contact us for assistance planning and implementing your mobile strategy.