(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.”

The first augmented building?

N Building in Tachikawa, Japan

With all the technological advances we’ve seen in recent years, if there’s ever been a sign that said “welcome to the future”, it’s the N Building.

This commercial building in Tachikawa, Japan, has a QR code designed on the outside panels allowing cell phone users to take a picture of the 2D barcode (similar to Blackberry Messenger & other apps) and be directed to the building’s website.

Furthermore, users with an additional app installed on their device (only available on iPhone right now), can aim their camera towards the building and be greeted with an augmented reality layer over the building, showing a more interactive display of the the building’s stores, their sales/promotions, and even showing tweets from within the building.

If you’re confused – or amazed – just watch the video below.

Welcome to the future 2010:

N Building is a commercial structure located near Tachikawa station amidst a shopping district. Being a commercial building signs or billboards are typically attached to its facade which we feel undermines the structures’ identity. As a solution we thought to use a QR Code as the facade itself. By reading the QR Code with your mobile device you will be taken to a site which includes up to date shop information. In this manner we envision a cityscape unhindered by ubiquitous signage and also an improvement to the quality and accuracy of the information itself.

December 15th, 2009 we held an opening which included the limited release of an iPhone application made specifically for N Building. If a QR Code is static, what could we do with a dynamic device like the iPhone? Our proposed vision of the future is one where the facade of the building disappears, showing those inside who want to be seen. As you press on the characters their comments made on online appear in speech bubbles. You can also browse shop information, make reservations and download coupons. Rather

than broadly tagging, we display information specific to the building in a manner in which the virtual (iPhone) serves to enhance the physical (N Building). Our goal is to provide an incentive to visit the space and a virtual connection to space without necessarily being present.

Project by teradadesign+Qosmo.
Music by Airtone.