ourmobileplanet.com, Spain is leading the way on smartphone adoption in Europe. Spanish smartphone penetration has reached 33%, outpacing Great Britain with 30% and France with 27%.According to the Google-sponsored research site
Spaniards are big multi-taskers, too. 50% of Spanish smartphone users actively browse the Web while listening to music, and 35% use the Internet on their smartphone and another device simultaneously. But given how much Spaniards love their smartphones, here's a surprising statistic: Only 10% of Spain's large companies have mobile websites.
Google's main interest in these statistics is in how Spanish smartphone users will use Google's mobile services. The study found that 55% have looked up directions or used a map on their phones, and 45% have searched for a local business.
Local business usage is the key stat. Google badly wants to be the provider of those searches and results. It's the key to their mobile ad business. With record sales of the iPhone 4S and the Siri search assistant it has on board, Apple is now Google's competitor on local business search.
Google has been imposing tight controls over local business listings lately in order to ensure the right results. That's the stick. The carrot is that Google's ad programs reward good mobile sites now. It even provides a free mobile site builder to get businesses on track.
Google's findings today show that only 10% of what they call "large companies" in Spain have developed a mobile website. That's a long way to go. Google wants all businesses to get there, and its research in Spain shows why: A Spanish hotel company has increased its mobile business 12 times since launching a mobile site.
Who has the best mobile site? Share your favorites in the comments.