Finding data on mobile web traffic and mobile browser share is like pulling teeth. It got a little easier this week with AdMob's release of their Mobile Metrics Report (PDF). It's an analysis of data on mobile ad impressions for the month of September. AdMob will be publishing the report monthly. There's loads of some solid information in this report; things like the most popular phones for mobile browsing worldwide and in the US, India, South Africa and the UK and the percentage of phones support things like streaming video or WAP push. A big thank you to AdMob for making this data for free.
Almost 43% of AdMob's traffic comes from the US. That's much higher than I expected. Clearly there's a big growth opportunity for AdMob in the global market. It also means that the data, especially the "Worldwide" numbers have a strong US bias.
AdMob's data mostly confirm what I've claiming for some time; that most mobile browsing is done with mainstream phones. I keep hearing the argument that users interested in mobile browsing will gravitate toward the best devices for browsing, high end smartphones with full web browsers. The Admob data shows a different picture, with a Motorola RAZR being the phone that generates the most mobile web impressions in the US and worldwide. The reason is simple, the RAZR was the top selling phone until recently. People are really taking to surfing the mobile web and they are doing it with whatever phones they have.
I've added the screen resolution of each phone to the Admob tables. Mobile web designers take note, the median screen size reported by AdMob is 176x220 and phones with 128px wide screens still drive a significant amount of traffic.
World - Mobile Web Browser Share - September 2007
|BlackBerry 8100 (Pearl)||Edge||240x260||2.2%|
|Samsung I607 BlackJack||HSDPA||320x240||1.2%|
US - Mobile Web Browser Share - September 2007
|Motorola RAZR V3||GPRS||176x220||7.1%|
|Motorola KRZR K1c||EVDO||176x220||6.3%|
|BlackBerry 8100 (Pearl)||Edge||240x260||4.3%|
|Samsung I607 BlackJack||HSDPA||320x240||2.7%|
|Sanyo SCP6600 (Katana)||1xRTT||240x320||2.4%|
|LG LX55 Fusic||EVDO||176x220||1.7%|
India - Mobile Web Browser Share - September 2007
|Nokia 6670 (Opera)||GPRS||176x208||5.4%|
South Africa - Mobile Web Browser Share - September 2007
UK- Mobile Web Browser Share - September 2007
|Sony Ericsson K800i||240x320||UMTS||5.7%|
|Sony Ericsson K610i||176x220||UMTS||3.8%|
The one thing that jumps out at me in this report is how some countries like Israel and especially South Africa are generating traffic out of all proportion to their size. I've taken the AdMob data and added a column listing impressions per capita and sorted the table on that. The most impressions per man, woman and child were from Israel at 3.14. But South Africa is tied with the US for second at 2.24. Serbia and Romania were next, ahead of the UK and Canada. This is all the more surprising considering the much lower per capita income (last column) in South Africa, Serbia and Romania than in the other countries.
I don't know what to make of this. I suspect data rates may be part of the answer but I couldn't find any evidence of cheap flat rate data in South Africa. It could also just mean that AdMob has done a better job of selling to advertisers and publishers in these countries
|Country||Impressions (Millions)||Population (Millions)||Impressions / Capita||Income / Capita|
|Serbia & Montenegro||21||10||2.10||$6K|
I'm looking forward to seeing these reports every month. They will be great for trend tracking. I'm hoping that AdMob offers even more data on future reports. It's probably asking too much but I'd love to have a list of the top 100 handsets in each market rather than just the top 10. Especially if the data came in xml or even csv format for easy slicing and dicing.