Ever since we published our first Mobile Metrics Report in September 2007, our goal has been to provide data that helps the mobile ecosystem make better decisions. As the mobile web has grown, the interest in our data from everyone to advertisers to publishers to Wall Street analysts has increased. We are excited to help the community out and remain committed to sharing our data freely for others to use and interpret. However, we do want to make sure that as people look at our data they think about it in the right context. As with any data source, it is critical to keep in mind where the data is coming from and take that into account when interpreting the results.
The report is based on the ad requests we receive from our network of more than 15,000 mobile Web sites and iPhone and Android applications. The data contained in the report is a measure of mobile data usage and does not represent the traditional view of market share based on the number of handsets sold. Our network site composition, product offerings, and business operations all influence the results. We have always been open about our methodology and are as transparent as possible in the report to give readers the information they need to accurately interpret our statistics.
The value of the data comes from the identification of trends that can be seen by analyzing the substantial volume of traffic flowing through our system each day. In the past year we have highlighted the rise of the iPod touch, growing WiFi usage, and compared the adoption of new operating systems. Taking WiFi as an example of how to view our numbers in context – knowing the exact percentage of WiFi (18% in the US in Sept 09) is less important than knowing that WiFi usage more than tripled over the last year.
Our data is also useful in combination with other qualitative or quantitative factors when thinking about a larger situation. For example the feature section from our April report was used in Mary Meeker’s recent presentation at Web 2.0 in the context of the growth of the Mobile Internet. This GigaOm post uses our usage data in combination with data on developer starts by mobile analytics firm Flurry to comment on the potential Android App Boom coming.
Feedback is always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Although we read all of your comments, we unfortunately can’t respond to all of them given the volume of inquires we receive. We look forward to improving the report going forward and continuing to provide useful data to the mobile community.