July 22, 2010, 4:12 PM

When it comes to mobile shopping, it’s iPhone owners by far

iPhone users are nearly 3x more likely to shop via mobile phone than smartphone owners overall.

Lead Photo

The majority of retailers optimizing their e-commerce sites for mobile phones are focusing first on the iPhone, and the vast majority have their sights set on the popular device when it comes to building mobile apps, according to Internet Retailer research. And with good cause, a new study finds.


IPhone owners are nearly three times more likely to shop via their mobile phones than smartphone owners overall, and more than five times more likely to shop in the mobile channel than mobile phone owners overall, according to “Why iPhones Matter,” a report by Yankee Group Research Inc.


16% of iPhone users have shopped via mobile compared with 6% for smartphone users overall and 3% for mobile phone users overall. Further, 9% of iPhone users have redeemed mobile coupons compared with 4% of smartphone users overall and 2% of mobile phone users overall.


Based on recent sales activity, the iPhone will continue to gain more prominence.


“Apple’s iPhone 4 launch on June 24 only confirmed this view. In the first three days of sales, Apple sold 1.7 million iPhones accounting for more than $1 billion in revenue,” writes Carl Howe, a director at Yankee Group and the author of the report. “These sales constitute the largest consumer electronics product launch of all time by dollar value, eclipsing both the Xbox 360 launch in 2005, which accrued more than $1 billion in six months, and the Apple iPad, which hit $1 billion in just about 60 days.”


Apple sold 3 million units of the iPhone 4 in the first 23 days, and there are countless consumers on Apple’s long waiting list as it cannot keep up with the demand for the new device.


When it comes to prioritization of smartphones when optimizing m-commerce sites and building mobile apps, retailers should focus first on the iPhone, experts say.


“Apple’s iPhone has created a highly differentiated offering in the mobile phone business, and as such, we expect it to continue to gain ground against competitors,” Howe concludes. “The fact that more subscribers are interested in moving to the iPhone than moving away from it indicates competing handset makers still have work to do to reach parity. Until then, iPhone subscribers really do matter.”

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