Google’s Mobile Sales Head: US Smartphone Ownership Grew 7% Last Year — Plus, Predictions

Jason Spero, Google’s head of mobile sales and strategy, will be taking the stage at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later today, where he’ll be revealing new research about smartphone growth and making some predictions about what we’ll be seeing in the mobile world over the next year.

In advance of Spero’s talk, Google is publishing a blog post that previews some of his comments. It offers a few highlights from new research conducted in January with Ipsos, which will be part of a future update to Our Mobile Planet, Google’s free analysis and data tool. Smartphone ownership grew 7 percent in the United States, to 38 percent of the total population. In Spain, ownership grew 11 percent to 44 percent of the total population. And in the United Kingdom, 84 percent of smartphone owners look for local information on a mobile device and 78 percent take action afterward.

Here are Spero’s 12 predictions for 2012:

  1. More than 1 billion people will use mobile devices as their primary internet access point.
  2. 10 days where mobile searches represent >;50% of trending search terms.
  3. Mobile’s role in driving people into stores will be proven and it will blow us away.
  4. “Mobile driven spend” will emerge as a big category.
  5. Smartphones will prove exceptional at driving a new consumer behavior.
  6. Tablets will take their place as the 4th screen.
  7. New industry standards will make mobile display easy to run.
  8. 5 new, mobile first companies will reach the Angry Birds level of success.
  9. ROI on mobile and tablet advertising will increase as a result of the unmatched relevance of proximity.
  10. The intersection of mobile and social will spark a dramatic new form of engaging consumers.
  11. 80% of the largest 2000 websites globally will have an HTML5 site.
  12. One million small businesses globally will go mobile with a mobile website.

Spero’s big theme is the growing use of mobile by businesses. Last year, he sat down with us to talk about local advertising and mobile commerce. His talk today will begin at 10am Eastern.