Fueled by higher smartphone sales, the worldwide mobile phone market grew 19.8%% in the first quarter of 2011, according to new data from technology research firm IDC. The number of mobile devices shipped increased to 372 million from 310.5 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Rising smartphone adoption, especially in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, helped drive the wider market to a new first-quarter record. The nearly 20% growth rate was also up slightly from the 18% rate in the fourth quarter of 2010.
IDC noted that manufacturers are making smartphones more affordable to a wider range of customers in emerging markets and elsewhere. That trend has helped handset makers, such as Micromax, TCL-Alcatel, Huawei, Research in Motion (RIM) and others outside the top five vendors, collectively outpace the broader mobile market, with a 46.4% growth rate.
Two-thirds have seen a mobile barcode
QR, or quick response, codes, are being adopted by many marketers as a way to entice people into using their mobile phone to get more information about products and services or otherwise interact more deeply with advertising. Outdoor ads invite consumers waiting for the bus to scan a poster to reach a relevant website, catalogs integrate QR codes to hook directly into ecommerce sites and stores place codes next to products that direct shoppers to how-to videos online. But how much have consumers caught on to what mobile barcodes can do?
According to February 2011 research from agency MGH, awareness is high among smartphone owners. Nearly two-thirds have seen a QR code, and about half that number, or one-third overall, had used one.
The demographic breakdown of users who had seen vs. used a QR code was virtually identical. Smartphone users were almost evenly split by gender, and while users under age 55 were relatively few, the field was not dominated by 18- to 34-year-olds. Users who had seen or used QR codes tended to be more affluent and educated.