January 31, 2012, 4:11 PM

In Europe, two in five mobile phones are smart

And 14% of smartphone users have accessed m-commerce sites and apps.

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Europeans are getting smart when it comes to the types of phones they’re using. 42% of mobile phone users in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. own smartphones, finds web measurement and research firm comScore Inc. in a new report titled “Connected Europe.” And 6.6% of those smartphone users also own a tablet computer.

Mobile devices running Apple Inc.’s iOS operating system, which include the iPhone, the iPod Touch and the iPad, have the greatest share of all mobile devices—excluding e-readers—in use in the five European Union countries, comScore says. Market share is as follows: Apple, 30%; Google Inc.’s Android, 27%; Symbian, 26%; BlackBerry, 8%; Windows Phone 7, 5%; and other, 4%.

When it comes to mobile commerce, some Europeans seem to be catching on. 14% of smartphone owners in the five countries have accessed m-commerce sites and apps, comScore finds.

Smartphone owners also are making use of their phones in various shopping-related ways when in stores. 21.8% took a picture of a product; 14.9% texted or called family or friends about a product; 10.9% scanned a bar code; 10.1% sent a picture of a product to family or friends; 6.6% used a store locator; 6.4% compared prices; 4.5% researched product features; 3.9% found coupons or special deals; and 2.4% checked product availability.

“Mobile commerce is taking off and reshaping expectations for the retail industry,” the report says. “Consumers will continue to expect mobile commerce as a fact of life and will only accelerate their usage of mobile devices to conduct commerce transactions. Retailers and advertisers need to embrace the mobile commerce use case and develop compelling consumer solutions.”

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