Global Perspectives: France leads Europe in smartphone usage

Monday, June 20, 2011 | 9:09 AM

This month, we are excited to share with you new country insights from our Global Perspectives series.  Frank Albert Coates, Product Marketing Manager in Europe, gives his thoughts on the latest mobile trends unique to France.
Last week we highlighted the growth of mobile in France through our event Think Mobile in Paris. At the event key advertisers such as Air France-KLM and La Redoute shared their success stories on mobile. Together with MMA France we also presented parts of the global mobile research showing that France is one of the most sophisticated European mobile markets with operators continually driving the market forwards with the distribution of new smartphones. The availability and popularity of best in class mobile devices has created a large French consumer base of educated and enthusiastic smartphone users.
French mobile users are more connected
Our research shows that today 27% of French adults use a smartphone and of those 59% connect to the Internet daily, which is highest among the major European countries. As a result of this active usage of Mobile Internet, French smartphone users also search more than their fellow Europeans  - a full 73 % of smartphone users state they have used a search engine. Numbers from our AdMob network in France also highlight that French smartphone users are among the most active: We have seen close to a 6x increase in monthly smartphone traffic growth from a year ago and an impressive 1.7 billion ad requests a month. As in other European countries, this growth is largely driven by smartphones.

Our research also revealed that France is one of the top European countries in terms of app downloads. Applications are fun and can be the best way to promote your service on a mobile phone. On average, French mobile users have 28 apps on their phone and 23 of these apps are free apps, a higher rate than in other countries. This popularity of free apps creates enormous opportunity for developers focused on monetization through advertising to generate revenue.

One French mobile application publisher that has been very successful internationally is Magma Mobile. They primarily develop free games for the Android platform and have 6 games in the top 100 list in Android Market. With more than 40 million downloads, their yearly growth has surpassed 900% and they are currently ranked 4th best rated Android developer worldwide according to As one of the co-founders, Etienne Jambou, puts it: "It is an OS with great manufacturer support and above all a monetization ecosystem in which we can blossom."

What does this mean for the future of mobile in France? Our data shows that 43% of decision makers think that mobile is a key opportunity for their company. In addition, we know that more than 55% of French adults will use a smartphone by 2015. This means that now is the time to go mobile. To learn more about Google's mobile advertising and monetization solutions, visit

Posted by Frank Albert Coates, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile ads


Unknown said...

How many people did you survey? What are these numbers based on?