(Via comScore) The iPhone Reality in Europe: Low Overall Penetration, Enormous Impact

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today outlined the impact the first three generations of Apple’s iPhone have had on the European mobile market, in light of record pre-sales and extraordinary consumer demand for the iPhone 4, which launches tomorrow.

The iPhone currently represents just 4 percent of the EU5 (U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy) mobile market, but 18 percent of the overall EU5 smartphone market. However, the iPhone has facilitated fundamental change in mobile user behaviour and ignited fierce competition among device and operating system (OS) providers.

iPhone owners are the most voracious consumers of mobile media: 94 percent use mobile media, 87 percent use applications and 85 percent browse the mobile internet. With just 4 percent share of the European market, iPhone users represent 12 percent of all mobile media users.

Mobile Media Usage Among European Smartphone Owners by OS Vendor
3 Month Average Ending April 2010
Total EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share of Smartphone Owners Engaging in Activity
Total Smartphone Symbian Apple Microsoft RIM Google
Smartphone Marketshare 100% 58% 18% 13% 8% 3%
Mobile Media Usage
Mobile Media (Browsing, Apps, Downloading) 65% 52% 94% 68% 81% 89%
Web Browsing 53% 39% 85% 56% 66% 83%
App Usage 53% 38% 87% 55% 72% 78%

“The iPhone 4 is set to have a huge impact globally with pre-order handsets selling out and retailing websites buckling under the pressure,” said Jeremy Copp, Vice President Mobile Europe, comScore. “To date the iPhone has had a disproportionate impact on the European mobile market considering its relatively modest installed base of around 10 million. It has catalysed the consumption of mobile media and opened the eyes of brands to mobile as an engaging marketing medium. However, it has also prompted other device manufacturers and OS vendors to elevate their game so the poster-child of the smartphone generation now faces serious competition.”

The European smartphone market is growing 38 percent year-on-year, but the most recent year has seen some significant developments. In the last 12 months, although the dominant OS, Symbian, gained device owners, market momentum has now moved to the North American operating systems of RIM, Apple and Google, each of which has grown by substantial percentage over the past year.

Growth in European Smartphone Owners by OS Vendor
3 Month Avg. Ending April 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending April 2009
Total EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Smartphone Owners (000)
April-2009 April-2010 % Change
Smartphone 41,224 56,974 38%
Symbian 28,014 33,146 18%
Apple 3,846 10,019 161%
Microsoft 6,719 7,268 8%
RIM 2,456 4,594 87%
Google 71 1,804 2429%

“Google’s Android is most certainly the one to watch,” added Jeremy Copp. “It has gained about 1.7 million users in a very short period of time and now accounts for 3 percent of the European smartphone market. Crucially, Android user mobile media consumption is very high – slightly behind but comparable to that of Apple. 89 percent use mobile media, 78 percent applications and 83 percent browse the mobile internet. The Droids are coming and current demand for the iPhone 4 implies a titanic battle between Apple and Google is imminent.”

Midlife chatterers show they like to keep it short and tweet

The following is an article written by Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter and featured in the British newspaper, The Times, today (Monday, April 13th) so for those that didn’t see it or are over in the US and elsewhere this is for you. (I’ve added in a few Twitter cartoons just for fun..)

Twitter appears to be the embodiment of youth culture with tech-savvy and fast-thumbed teens firing off short updates filled with abbreviations about their lives. But it turns out that the keenest users are the greying brigades of the middle aged.

More mature users, led by famous tweeters such as Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Sarah Brown, are the driving force behind the popularity of the site. New research shows that 45-54 years olds are 36 percent more likely than the average to visit the site, with figures from comScore, the internet market researchers, showing that the majority of the 10 million Twitter users worldwide are aged 35 or older.

Twitter Cartoon

Twitter is a social networking and “microblogging” site, where users post short updates – “tweets” of up to 140 characters via the website or a mobile phone. More than 3.5 million people signed up in the first two months of this year.

Celebrities such as Russell Brand and Jamie Oliver are avid users, while Barack Obama used it as a tool during last year’s presidential elections to talk directly and quickly to hundreds and thousands of followers.

Stephen Fry, 51, the actor and comedian whose tweets are followed by about 400,000 people, has become a leading advocate for the service. “I love how Twitter confirms all too often assaulted belief that most humans are kind, curious, knowledgeable, tolerant and funny” he wrote on his blog. (Is your Twitter page a blog in the traditional form? I’m not so sure)

Celebrity tweeters have pushed others towards the site “It’s the role model thing” said Richard Drake, 51, from London. “You see Stephen Fry and think, they’re doing it, so why can’t you?” You’re not teenagers, so you’re no longer following the crowd to the same degree perhaps. “But you think, well, he’s finding it interesting, there’s something happening there, and people my age are doing it.”

Twitter Cartoon
Other social networking websites, such as Facebook and MySpace have also seen an increase in the number of older people signing up in recent months. But the simplicity of Twitter has made it most popular with the golden oldies and 2o percent of all tweeters in Britain are over the age of 55, compared with 12 percent of all Facebook users.

However, it seems that the young are being put off by the increasing number of older users. “I do think there’s a feeling that, if your parents are doing it, suddenly it’s not cool any more” said Jamie Gavin, an analyst at comScore.

Ageing tweeters also said that whereas Facebook seemed to reveal every aspect of your life – something the young seem more at ease at doing – Twitter was less intrusive, and often is used by people at work. “I only Twitter professionally,” said Ian Williams, 41, an executive at a price comparison website. “For us, it’s just another communications tool. That’s the beauty of Twitter, if you decide something is not interesting or inane, you can stop following it. It’s just not invasive”Twitter Cartoon