this information is of course very useful to all of us involved in making mobile apps, in order to figure out roughly the proportion of all mobile users who actually can access our apps. unfortunately, it is not as useful as it could have been, because the network operators’ definitions of ‘smartphones’ is far too vague – and also seems to differ according to operator:
“A smartphone is a device which has a touch screen or full QWERTY keyboard for input and an advanced OS” (“Espen” at Netcom)
“Smartphones are run by operating systems which can install and run advanced software. They have extra functionality such as music, photo, video, web browser, maps and GPS. Often we like to talk about ‘surf phones’, those which are especially adapted for data and web services.” (@telenor_service 1, 2, 3)
(the telenor quote was translated by me from three tweets in norwegian. original: “Smartphones drives av operativsystem som kan installere og kjøre avansert programvare. I tillegg til vanlig telefonbruk har de flere funksjoner som avspilling av musikk, foto, video, internettleser, kart og GPS. Ofte liker vi å snakke om surfemobiler, de som er spesielt tilrettelagt for data- og nett-tjenester.”)
however, we can always make some educated guesses: from earlier numbers we know that roughly 10% of the users have an iphone. that may be a little higher now, but i’d be surprised if it’s a lot more. for android, according to admob’s april figures there was 1/5 as many androids in norway as iphones, but that number should have increased by now – let’s say the sum of iphones and android may be around 15 %. Most of the remaining “smartphones” will then probably be nokia’s touch screen phones and various niche phones.
by the way, if you follow the links you’ll see that i got all this from tweeting with network representatives. lending support to my highly scientific opinion about twitter: it’s the best.