Over the past few years, it seems that a few mobile devices have become ubiquitous among businesspeople: laptops, Bluetooth headsets, and increasingly, smartphones. The days of the pager are gone.
Small business owners seem to be outpacing the rest of America in smartphone adoption, according to a recent survey of nearly 10,000 small business owners. While only 17% of Americans own smartphones, according to a recent Forrester study, a whopping 49% of small business owners are reported to own smartphones.
Of those smartphone owners, 35% own BlackBerrys, 33% owniPhones, 25% own Androids, and 7% own Windows Mobile devices.
While the study didn’t include a comprehensive look at how small business owners are using their smartphones, we suspect that merchants are turning to mobile devices to stay on top of everyday business needs through e-mail, scheduling, and calls. We’ve heard success stories from business owners who alsotweet on the go, see the importance of location-based services, and are investing in mobile advertising.
While only 12% of respondents said that they currently market their businesses through mobile — via mobile ads and apps, for example — other reports point towards an upward trend in mobile advertising budgets. In fact, spending on mobile advertising is set to grow nearly 50% to top $1 billion in 2011, according to eMarketer.
Here’s the exact breakdown of smartphone usage among the small business owners surveyed: