Mobile Mapping On The Up

comScore, which specialises in digital measurement, says the use of mobile maps is becoming increasingly popular in the US and Europe, with 8% of US mobile subscribers and 3% of European subscribers accessing maps from the mobile phone in the three-month period ending May 2008. This represents a growth rate of 82% and 49% in the number of users, respectively. According to the comScore M:Metrics Benchmark Study, the iPhone is the leading device used to access maps in the US, while in Europe, the device trails the Nokia N95 and N70.
The mobile phone as a personal navigation device makes tremendous sense, says comScore Senior Analyst, Mark Donovan. With the influx of devices, such as the iPhone with GPS, entering the market, Nokias purchase of NAVTEQ and the growing popularity of downloadable navigation applications, you dont need a map to see where this sector is going.
According to comScore, 73% of mobile subscribers accessing maps are doing so via the browser in the US, while in Europe, the figure is 57%. Less than a third of Americans and Europeans are using a downloaded application, which allows even feature phones, with less computing power and often smaller screens, to better render graphic-rich maps and directions. Despite the ubiquity of SMS usage in Europe, the penetration of consumers accessing maps and directions via SMS in Europe is only one percentage point higher than it is in the US, at 24%.
The vast majority of mobile map users are seeking driving directions, even in Europe, where public transportation and non-vehicular options are more popular.