One-fifth of Irish adult population owns smartphones

22 Nov 2010

More than 600,000 consumers in Ireland own smartphones, which amounts to one-fifth of the adult population, according to mobile and digital agency Return2Sender.

The research expects smartphone ownership to grow to 1.5 million by spring 2011.

Some 256,000 people in Ireland own an iPhone and the research predicts this will grow to 613,000 owners over the next six months.

Android growth is also expected – Return2Sender expects 220,000 consumers to own these devices by the second quarter of 2011.

Some 8.4 million apps have been downloaded by almost a quarter of Irish consumers, with half a million people downloading them on a regular basis.

One-third of these apps were paid and two-thirds of them were free. Music and games were seen as the most popular apps.

Mostly males

Men were the most dominant in the Irish market – 64pc of smartphone owners were male and 59pc of people who download apps were also male.

“This research is extremely positive for the Irish digital and mobile industry,” said Donald Douglas, managing director of Return2Sender.

“There is huge creative and commercial opportunity within the industry and this will play an important part for our economy.

“It’s the time for brands to understand and engage both males and females across all age groups through mobile apps and adverts with their clear value promise,” he said.

Mobile advertising was seen to grow exponentially soon, with more than 50pc open to receiving mobile ads. Ads through text had a universal appeal and there was a subcategory within this found to be responsive to mobile ads on websites, apps and branded apps.

“It is striking to note that a vast majority of adults are either very interested or potentially interested in ads over their most personal mobile device,” said Douglas.

“Mobile is certainly perceived as a non-intrusive method of advertising. A key reason for the increasing appetite for mobile advertising is that it provides consumers with something in return.

“In exchange for viewing an ad over their mobile phone, consumers expect to receive something of particular value to them personally,” he said.