in Libraries/Info Sci, Presentations, Tech

Handheld Librarian & Mobile stats

I’ll be speaking later today as part of the Handheld Librarian II online conference. My Powerpoint slides are already online here, but I wanted to note some things I’ll be talking about that didn’t make it into the slides:

First, while there’s many other available frameworks than just the two I talk about, I do want to specifically point out the MIT Mobile Web project. The folks over at NCSU have done a great job implementing it with their library’s mobile site. They’re talking about it in a session right after mine, so I won’t be covering it in too much detail. MIT’s code is fairly robust, but also much more complex to get set up and running than iUI or Jason Clark’s work.

Second, some interesting stats. From two separate reports, both with data about December 2009. Looking at them side by side:

-Apple has 25.9% of the US smartphone market share (in devices sold), but iPhones also make up 54% of US mobile web traffic.

-Android has just 5.2% of the US smartphone market share (in devices sold), but makes up 27% of US mobile web traffic.

-Blackberries have an astonishing 41.6% of the US smartphone market share (in devices sold), but make up just 10% of US mobile web traffic.

There’s an important lesson here to keep in mind when choosing which devices to support with a mobile website. At first glance, looking at Blackberries’ market share alone, they seem to be the platform to support – it’ll get the most users in, right? Not when they use just 10% of all mobile web traffic! The heaviest users, the people we should be targeting now with our services, are on Android and iPhone. By supporting their combined 31.1% market share of devices with our our mobile sites, we’re available for 81% of mobile web traffic. That’s a pretty solid return on investment. I’m not surprised by these results, but it’s always nice to have numbers to back up intuition.

This isn’t to say that blackberries should be ignored – they’re just not the best target audience for a pilot program.