Opera Software issued its last "State of the Mobile Web" report today for 2008. What do the numbers tell us? Social networking is popular, the mobile Web is growing by leaps and bounds, and smartphones are leading the way.From Opera:
The final State of the Mobile Web report for 2008 examines two of the most developed regions in the world: Europe and North America. For many countries in these regions, high mobile phone penetration coexists alongside high PC penetration and high broadband penetration. Consumers have the option of choosing either the mobile Web or the fixed Web, or both. Page views in Opera Mini grew 200% since January 2008 in the United States. In countries where broadband is widely available and PC penetration high, there is still high demand for the mobile Web. Yet in countries without easy access to broadband or PCs, the mobile Web is essential and the page-view metrics from previous State of the Mobile Web reports confirm this trend.What's really interesting is how social networking has grown. According to Opera, Facebook and MySpace are locked in a battle for mobile social networking leadership in the United States. Facebook has surpassed MySpace on the top 10 list in the U.S. for the first time. This could be because of the wider availability of Facebook on mobile devices such as the iPhone, which has a fairly rich Facebook client.
Another interesting tidbit shows us the popularity of certain devices. The BlackBerry Bold, which became available to AT&T customers last month, made an immediate impact and is high on the list of top handsets preferred by Opera Mini users in the United States. This tells us that there was a lot of demand for the Bold, and that Research In Motion needs to improve its own homegrowm browser.
When it comes to some other stats, Opera noted that Opera Mini users viewed more than 5.7 billion pages in November. Since October, page views have gone up 12.1%. Since November 2007, this number is up 303%.
Lastly, the amount of data consumed worldwide grew with the increase in page views. Opera Mini users generated more than 82.9 million megabytes of data in the month of November, an increase of 12.5% over October. Opera Mini compresses data by about 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 829 million megabytes of data in November. Since November 2007, data traffic is up 463%.
Wow. Data traffic is up 463% in one year. And that's just for users of Opera Mini. What about other browsers, such as Safari on the iPhone, and the Android browser? How much has mobile data usage increased globally in the last year? With browser-rich devices being adopted by more and more people, consumption of the mobile Web is only set to skyrocket. Can the networks handle the increasing demand?