Today, we’re checking in on the stats that matter in mobile, just like always. However, we’re adding one element: rather than leaving interpretation open, we’re going to take a stab at answering the question begged by each stat (because all stats beg a question). Here it goes:

M-commerce market size

  • Stat: Smartphone sales of physical retail goods and services were $8 billion in the U.S. last year, equaling 3% of online sales and less than 1% of total retail sales. For most U.S. retailers, mobile represents 1.5% of online sales. Over the next five years, total mobile sales are expected to grow 33% annually to $31 billion, making up 9% of online sales by 2017.
  • Question begged: Why aren’t smartphone sales a larger percentage of total online sales?
  • Answer: I think there are major hurdles with small screen size and speed for making smartphone purchases (not so for Tablets btw). Smartphones aren’t necessarily as well suited for executing sales as they are for driving purchases online or in-store. As smartphone speed and mobile UI’s improve, smartphones will become more valuable for sales execution.

iPhone user types

  • Stat: iPhone 5 owners demand 50% more than data than iPhone 4S users and four times as much as iPhone 3G users.
  • Question begged: What data do people need on an iPhone 5 that they don’t on other iOS models?
  • Answer: This isn’t so much a distinction between devices as it is between users. Given the iPhone 5’s relevant infancy, the majority of people who have upgraded are those power uses that upgrade no matter what. For the most part, I would imagine that most people consume data on their iPhones in the same way: apps and mobile web.

Mobile and location

  • Stat: 23% of marketers access location-based data for mobile campaigns, versus 62% for social campaigns.
  • Question begged: What’s holding mobile back in the location game?
  • Answer: I mentioned this in my 2013 predictions post, but mobile competitive advantage will transition from features to data in 2013. Leading the way (self-call coming, I know): companies that can provide powerful tools for mobile data management.

Mobile luxury shopping

  • Stat: 65% of luxury shoppers access a retailer’s mobile site while in-store.
  • Question begged: Why not just ask a sales person?
  • Answer: Luxury shoppers want to own their whole purchase. Sure, they might be concerned with price comparison, but more than that they want to find out the coolness factor of what they are buying. Luxury retailers should create a mobile experience that’s not only stylish and sleek, but also informative about features and related products that can enhance the purchase.

Average device penetration

  • Stat: Across age groups, here’s the average device penetration and standard deviation for various devices: Samsung (24%, 2%); Apple (17%, 9%); LG (18%, 3%); HTC (7%, 4%); Blackberry (4%, 2%).
  • Question begged: Why does the iPhone vary so much across age groups?
  • Answer: Younger age groups find the iPhone too expensive and older age groups don’t really see a need. I imagine this is why Apple has been tossing around a cheaper iPhone concept, especially considering Samsung’s higher penetration and lower standard deviation.

Smartphone shopping in-store

  • Stat: 48% of consumers prefer to also use a smartphone while shopping in-store.
  • Question begged: Why do consumers need their phone in store?
  • Answer: Related to mobile luxury shopping, but mobile is a part of consumers’ everyday lives. In order to best communicate with consumers, brands need to adopt a (yup, you guessed it) cross-channel strategy.

Large-screen phones

  • Stat: Smartphones with very large screens will double their market share in 2013.
  • Question begged: Do all humans suddenly have hands as large as Lebron James?
  • Answer: While that would be cool, I’m guessing it’s because not everyone carries a smartphone in a pants pocket. It’s also clear that the Zoolander smallphone revolution is over – for now. You heard it here first: we will see a backlash to smaller phones eventually, because, like the economy, cell phone size preference follows a strict, cyclical pattern.


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