21 million mobile users across EU5 markets accessed mapping, direction services during February, 68% growth
New research from comScore has revealed a 68% increase in the use of mobile mapping and direction services across Europe during the past year.
In a report published late last week, the market research firm said that in February, 21 million mobile users across EU5 markets (the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy) accessed navigation services via their handsets.
According to comScore, 68.2% of those who accessed mobile mapping applications during the three months ending February 2010 did so while travelling in a car or other vehicle. Meanwhile 35.3% accessed services while using public transport, while 27% did so while walking, running or cycling.
The company also found that users with assisted GPS (A-GPS)-capable handsets are more likely to use mobile navigation services than those without.
“The higher incidence of A-GPS usage in cars suggests that the superior speed and precision in these devices are being used for more than just identifying locations – they are being used as full in-car navigation systems,” said Alastair Hill, senior analyst at comScore, in a statement.
“That these services offer similar functionality to premium services without the significant price-tag has certainly contributed to their early success,” he commented.
Indeed, the world’s biggest handset vendor Nokia in January threw its weight behind providing a free and enhanced version of its Ovi Maps service in a bid to drive smartphone sales.
Just one week after launch, downloads of the Finnish phone maker’s revamped navigation service neared 1.5 million.
“Mobile mapping services also have potential for integration with other location aware services, such as mobile social networking applications that provide links to friends and insights on surroundings and, subsequently, offer great promise for the location-based advertising market,” explained Hill.
Keeping that in mind, Juniper Research in February predicted revenues from location-based services (LBS) will top $12.7 billion by 2014, driven in part by improved monetisation from advertising.
Meanwhile comScore’s latest mobile mapping statistics reveal that the U.K. showed the most growth, surging 86% in the last 12 months to 5.7 million users. Italy is still the second-largest mobile mapping market across EU5 countries with 4.9 million users, but experienced the least growth – 53% – during the last year. See the table below for a full breakdown.
|Source: comScore||Mobile Maps Users (000)|
|Feb 2009||Feb 2010||% Change|