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This month, comScore released its annual Mobile Future in Focus report for 2012, and with it comes a number of trend predictions for the mobile device and mobile connectivity landscapes. According to comScore, 2011 brought the following specific milestones to the mobile industry:

  • Smartphone devices became mainstream.
  • Tablets became a formidable fourth screen.
  • Consumers integrated mobile activities into their lifestyles more than ever.

comScore is confident that 2012 will continue to see the "mobile and connected device landscape shaken up even further." The 2012 Mobile Future in Focus reports the following key findings from 2011 and predictions for 2012:

  • Smartphone Use: Mobile media consumption will be driven by continued mass adoption of smartphones, a proliferation of high-speed Internet connections, and increased public WiFi connectivity.
  • Operating Systems: Android and Apple will hold the lead in the smartphone platform industry, but the battle for supremacy will continue. Android was on top in 2011, and that's likely to continue in most markets.
  • Mobile Apps: Mobile app use will continue to soar and "dual mobile browsing" (meaning people will browse the web through both mobile web browsers and through mobile apps) will grow as a result.
  • Mobile Shopping: Smartphone shopping will be done by the majority of smartphone device users in 2012. This is a natural progression based on 2011 data that showed more than 50% of U.S. smartphone users conducted a retail search while in a store in 2011. By the end of the year, nearly 20% of smartphone users had scanned barcodes and approximately 12% had compared prices on their smartphones while inside a retail store.
  • Social Networking and Blogging: Smartphone users are busy social networkers. During December 2011, 64.2 million U.S. smartphone users accessed social networking sites or blogs at least once using their mobile devices. Mobile social networkers are most likely to read posts from friends and personal connections, but more than half also read posts from companies, brands, organizations, and events.
  • Tablet Devices: There is no stopping tablet device growth! In less than two years, nearly 40 million tablets were being used in the United States. It took smartphones 7 years to reach the same point according to comScore's data. By the end of 2011, nearly 15% of U.S. mobile users had tablets in addition to their smartphones or other mobile devices. That growth is not expected to slow down in 2012.

The mobile industry is changing faster than ever, and consumers are happy to purchase new products and technology that help them stay connected, informed, and entertained. It's safe to bet that growth rates will continue to skyrocket at record speeds in 2012 and beyond.You can download a free copy of the 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report from the comScore website.

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