If you ever needed convincing that the future of cell-phone tech is more smartphones and less dumbphones, then AdMob's most recent statistics will change your mind: The smartphone is on the ascendant, and the "mobile internet device" is too.
According to the new analysis by the advertising firm, the month of February 2010 soar smartphones soar to nearly 50% (48% to be exact) of all of AdMob's worldwide Net traffic--that's up from around 35% a year ago. Featurephones, on the other hand, dropped to a mere 35% of traffic, from a high of close to 60% in February 2009.
The data's even more striking when you peek at the year-long graph up above. In the space of just 12 months the cell phone-using public has been voraciously buying up smartphones--the featurephone isn't yet completely history, as absolute traffic from the devices has risen slightly over this period, but they no longer dominate the market, and their time in the sun is limited. The trend is being pushed by devices like the iPhone and the plethora of Android phones out there, each capable of rendering a Web page more or less exactly as capably as a browser on a desktop PC would--this power is so astonishingly useful that it's transforming the way people view and use the Net.
But AdMob's data also shows remarkable growth in the "mobile internet device" category. This is gizmos like the iPod Touch or Sony's PSP handheld--in February this year these devices accounted for 17% of AdMob's traffic, showing that people really do use their iPod, DSi or PSP to browse the web, and the trend is increasing (probably helped along by the sea-change in mobile Net thinking caused by all those smartphones.) Of course this class of device is about to get some hard-hitting new members in the form of a bunch of tablet PCs, chief among which is the iPad. Considering the way it looks like people are likely to use these devices, AdMob's traffic from MIDs is almost certain to skyrocket--we'll be watching to see what AdMob's report looks like for June or July, once the iPad's been properly unleashed on the World. We're betting that this time next year, that blue line relating to MIDs will have bent steeply upwards, to compete with smartphone's marketshare.
One more noteworthy conclusion: Mobile Net advertising is a business that's undergrowing rapid growth (possibly thanks to the end of the economic downturn.) It's also about to probably undergo a period of growth that can only be described as explosive. PR execs of the World, take note.
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