Japanese mobile users 'most connected;' US users addicted to social networks

New statistics paint a vivid picture of how consumers around the world are using their mobile phone to enhance their everyday lives.

While common mobile behaviors such as calling, texting, and connecting with friends can be observed around the globe, there are clear geographic patterns emerging in the rates at which consumers access and utilize these functions.

Japanese consumers are the most connected, said market researcher comScore in a report released October 7.

Around 75 percent of Japan's mobile users are using their mobile device to browse the web, access applications or download content. Connectivity is much lower in the Western world with just 43.7 percent of mobile users in the US and 38.5 percent of mobile users in Europe using connected media on their devices.  

"Mobile media usage continues to accelerate across the globe, driven by advancing technologies and the growing number of content options available to consumers," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile.

"As we look across markets, dramatic differences in mobile media consumption, brand adoption and user behavior become evident. These differences are even more pronounced than they are for PC-based Internet usage due to the complex nature of mobile - including various device capabilities, operating systems and methods of accessing content."

Japanese users' love of connected media may in part be attributed to the availability of advanced mobile technology; mobile phones are ubiquitous in the country and come packed full of next-generation consumer technology.

Most carriers in Japan also provide their own application stores and internet platforms and have for years actively encouraged mobile subscribers to access web content that is specifically tailored for their connected devices.

These factors have also seen Japanese mobile users become heavy mobile application and browser consumers.

Of the entire mobile population in Japan, 59.3 percent accessed their browsers in June. US and Europe trailed behind with just 34 and 25.8 percent of mobile users, respectively.

Application usage statistics showed a similar pattern with 42.3 percent of Japanese users, 31.1 percent of US users and 24.9 percent of European users accessing applications on their phone in June.  

When it came to messaging, Japanese users preferred to send emails. People in the US had the highest rate of instant messaging on their mobiles.

Europeans were the most likely of surveyed users to send text messages on their phones. In June 81.7 percent of European mobile users sent a text compared with just 66.8 percent in the US and 40.1 percent in Japan.

People the US were the biggest social networkers: 21.3 percent of mobile users in the US used their phone to access social networks or blogs. Japan and Europe followed behind with 17 and 14.7 percent respectively said comScore.

ComScore's MobiLens report was based on the mobile usage habits among mobile users in the US, Japan and the EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT) during June 2010.

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