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In the top five markets in Europe today, 46 million people actively use smartphones to access apps. Analytics company Flurry, which compiled the data, projects that this number will more than double in the next 12 months, and will reach “near total smartphone market saturation” in just over two years.
That sounds impressive, but today’s somewhat more modest figure, and the variation within it, shows just how uneven mobile growth has been for different countries in the region. Moreover, the numbers presented by Flurry, part of a larger report on app usage in Europe, come out significantly lower than those from another analyst, comScore.
If you look at Flurry’s numbers, the average penetration of smartphones across five leading markets of the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain is 20 percent. Within that, the UK leads at 33 percent with Spain and Italy lagging in last place with nine and 10 percent respectively.
But it’s important to note that these figures are based on Flurry’s own analytics, which measure smartphones that access apps. A different set of numbers released last week from comScore, based only on smartphone ownership, puts the overall numbers higher, with the UK coming out as the market with the highest penetration of smartphones at nearly just over 40 percent, with the second- and third-highest countries working out to be none other than Spain and Italy — with much higher numbers: 40.2 percent and 38.3 percent, respectively).
Assuming both numbers have a degree of accuracy to them (it’s not uncommon for them to get questioned: see here and here) it raises questions about how much people might be accessing apps with their devices. In some markets where smartphones have really taken off — but English is not the first language — perhaps not as much as in other places.
Flurry also notes that this is changing: those markets with still low app usage penetration are seeing much faster growth rates in terms of usage, than those markets like the UK and France that have a bigger current embedded user base.
Flurry’s news is coming out on the same day that it is announcing a renewed push on the European market, with the appointment of Richard Firminger as its European managing director, a new role at the firm.