Nielsen just released their Mobile Consumer Report, it has some interesting facts on how much have changed lately. The most important note seems to be the reach of critical mass for mobile device ownership in many countries, although in many countries (like Russia) people even rely on more than one device to stay connected:

How many of us use a mobile phone?

 

Although there are big differences in the kind of devices used across developed and non-developed markets. Feature phones still beat smartphones in emerging markets like India, proving the need and market for cheaper, entry level smartphones for those markets:

Smart/Multimedia or Feature Phones?

Mobility means for most use cases the use of social networks and games and mobile shopping still means a lot of product evaluation and price comparison rather than actual mobile shopping:

What do we do with our smartphones?

When we look at the actual applications usage, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and eBay consistently rank in the top 10 sites among mobile web users around the world proving that our mobiles are indeed responsible for a big part of our attention deficit if you ask me 😉

Which Apps do We use?

Unfortunately access is far from universal and the amount people pay for “being connected” still varies a lot, and in many cases and countries have even a direct correlation with usage with most users where data plan prices are higher (like India and Russia)opting for more flexible, less expensive options, such as “pay-as-you-go” data pricing, or taking advantage of WiFi connectivity:

How much does mobile service cost? How much does mobile service cost?

 

As conclusion, there’s still much to go before we can talk about a true universal mobile access, and while we becoming more and more connected through our smartphones we’re still far from extracting their true power. The full report is extensive and also covers mobile video and mobile advertising which weren’t key to me, but which I actually recommend reading if you’re interested in those topics.