U.S. Leads in Mobile Internet Adoption

The continued excitement over Apple's latest iPhone and the speedier Web access it promises (once the kinks get worked out) underscores an important point about the growing smartphone business for the channel: It is reaching critical mass around the world.

At least, that's what the latest research from telecom specialist Nielsen Mobile concludes. The company's latest research report says the U.S. now has become a leader in mobile Internet adoption, with more than 40 million subscribers actively using their mobile devices to surf the Web. That puts the U.S. ahead of the U.K, Italy and 13 other nations included in the survey. Nielsen also says Motorola Razr phones are the most popular device used for mobile access in the U.S., and that the unlimited monthly data access plans recently introduced by wireless service providers are helping fuel the growing interest.

All of this suggests that smartphones and other mobile devices -- and the wireless applications that run on them -- will become an increasingly important element of the channel's business during the next few years. The mobile networks are growing faster, the devices more capable and the applications more robust. The iPhone, already a consumer hit here, is trying to establish a toehold the corporate market, long dominated by BlackBerry and Palm. With demand for such technology rising, VARs are the natural link to help service providers transition successfully into the small-business world. 

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