October 8, 2010, 11:24 AM

Stark differences mark mobile phone usage among nations

Japanese do more shopping, Europeans more texting and Americans more social networking.

Lead Photo

7.2% of Japanese mobile phone users in June accessed online retail sites on their phones, compared with 5.5% of Americans and 4.1% of citizens from a collection of five European countries, according to new research from comScore Inc.

Looking at the big picture, 75.2% of Japanese mobile phone users in June accessed the Internet via their phones, through their browsers and/or apps, compared with 43.7% of Americans and 38.5% of citizens in what comScore calls the EU5 (the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Italy). Conversely, 40.1% of Japanese send text messages, while 66.8% of Americans and 81.7% of Europeans do the same.

“Mobile media usage continues to accelerate across the globe, driven by advancing technologies and the growing number of content options available to consumers,” says 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. For brands seeking to establish a multi-market presence, understanding usage dynamics across geographies is essential to implementing a successful global mobile marketing strategy.”

Accessing social networks via mobile sites and apps was most popular in the United States. 21.3% of Americans do so, while 17.0% of Japanese and 14.7% of Europeans go social on mobile. The top social networks accessed on mobile devices by Americans are Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter.

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