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Mobile internet advertising a huge opportunity in Japan

Almost as many people access the internet using a mobile device as they do using a PC in Japan, new figures reveal.

A new study from digital measurement firm comScore found that mobile internet popularity is surging in the Asian nation, presenting advertisers with "a significant opportunity".

Trends in Japan often soon filter to the West, and mobile internet is certainly on the up in the UK. When the iPhone is launched in November, it will bring the mobile web to a new wave of users.

In Japan, comScore, found, 53.6 million people used a mobile device to access the internet in June 2007, just less than the 53.7 million who accessed the web from a computer either at home or at work.

The most common internet activity from mobile phones was checking emails (done by 75 per cent of respondents), followed by news and information gathering (52 per cent) and search (51 per cent).

However, the study also found that the time spent browsing on mobile phones is still much lower than that spent on PCs - 8.1 hours per month compared to 18.9 hours.

Nevertheless, the medium holds potential for advertisers.

"Mobile web is a significant opportunity," said Maru Sato of comScore Japan.

"Advertisers can now reach 53 million consumers online. The mobile audience is especially important to marketers trying to reach younger audiences."

The evolution of mobile internet in the West was indicated by Google making its AdWords program available on its mobile search.

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