Mobile Marketing Devices

Mobile marketing devices are mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, to which specific online marketing measures are targeted. Knowledge of the technical features as well as the users and ways of using these devices is essential for the development of mobile marketing campaigns.


A smartphone is a special mobile phone that, in addition to the usual telephone function, offers additional services such as Internet access and applications, so-called apps.


Smartphones are characterized by special characteristics that clearly distinguish them in their entirety from conventional mobile phones.

  • Most smartphones are equipped with a touch-sensitive touch display, which controls them either exclusively or at least partially.
  • Letters are entered either via a QWERTY keyboard integrated in the hardware or via an on-screen keyboard operated via a touch display.
  • Third party applications (apps) can be downloaded and installed via a connected marketplace. This offers a wide range of possible applications.
  • There is a permanent Internet connection, unless specifically prevented. A data flat rate is usually required in order to use a smartphone comprehensively on the move.
  • Many smartphones can establish an Internet connection both via a mobile service provider and via Wifi.
  • They are equipped with a GPS chip that allows the current location to be located (e.g. for route planning).
  • Most smartphones are larger than traditional mobile phones. On many models, the display takes up almost the entire size of the device to make it easier to use with your fingers.

Distinction from other devices[edit]

In the meantime, the boundaries to other devices have become blurred. Smartphones are usually located at a size of about 4 to 5.3 inches. Tablets, on the other hand, are between 7 and 12 inches in size. In between, so-called "phablets" or "smartlets" have established themselves, which can offer a size of approx. 6 inches.


Smartphones can fulfil many different functions depending on the manufacturer. A selection of possible functions shows the wide range of small devices:

  • Telephone functions, SMS, MMS
  • VoIP (telephoning via Internet connection instead of mobile phone connection)
  • Use of a web browser
  • Dictation functions
  • Data storage
  • Listen to MP3 or radio
  • Create and edit photos and videos
  • Internet connection for the computer via tethering
  • Navigation features
  • Location-based functions
  • Use of games
  • Access to the employer's IT solutions (e.g. ERP systems or merchandise management systems)


Smartphones are characterized by the fact that they can be expanded and customized with apps. In January 2013, Google Play, the app store for Android smartphones, offered over 800,000 free and paid apps for download. Apple's App store was able to record 775,000 app offers at this time. The Windows Phone platform was still lagging behind with only around 150,000 offers.


Initially, the manufacturer Apple dominated the market with its more or less unrivalled iPhone. However, the manufacturer Samsung was able to catch up quickly and has meanwhile clearly overtaken Apple. In the first quarter of 2014, Samsung recorded a market share of 31.22 percent. Apple, on the other hand, is 15.33 percent far behind in 2nd place, followed by Huawei and Lenovo in 3rd and 4th place with a market share of around 4.7 percent.

Operating systems[edit]

The picture is similar for the operating systems. In the period from December 2013 to February 2014, the Android operating system, which is used by Samsung smartphones among others, was able to expand its lead over the same period last year by 3.8 percent to 75.7 percent market share. The market share of Apple's iOs fell by 3.5 percent to 15.23 percent. Windows phones have a market share of 7.5 percent. Other systems such as Blackberry, Bada and Symbian have a market share of barely 1%. [3]

Disadvantages of Smartphones[edit]

In spite of all the advantages that come from the variety of functions of smartphones, there are also some disadvantages.

  • Many smartphones are very overloaded with functions and settings, making it difficult for less technically savvy users to find their way around.
  • Smartphone batteries are overburdened with performance-intensive services such as WLAN or GPS, often resulting in battery life of less than a day.
  • Vulnerability to malware increases with the number of third-party applications. Around 50 percent of smartphone owners do not use virus protection. [4]

Many users deal fraudulently with their data on the smartphone and risk being spied on, for example through apps.

  • If the owner does not use a data flat rate, high connection costs can arise due to the constant, often independently established Internet connections.
  • For many consumers, the smartphone brings with it a constant availability that can sometimes even develop into an addiction.
  • Many of the functions that smartphones provide are usually better on the individual device (e.g. photos from a good digital camera are generally better than those from a smartphone).
  • The large touch display is a major risk factor: many older mobile phone models suffered little or no damage in the event of a fall. With smartphones, however, the display often breaks and expensive repairs follow.
  • Thanks to constant new developments, smartphones have a relatively short lifespan and quickly become obsolete.
  • Entering text data on the screen can be difficult, especially with smaller displays.


A tablet is a mobile device that has similar functions to a smartphone, but is equipped with a larger display. Due to the lack of a keyboard, the tablet is operated entirely via the touchscreen.

Characteristics and delimitation[edit]

Today's tablets are offshoots of the former handheld PCs, which for a long time were more for private life than for organizing business. Since the success of smartphones and the release of the first tablet (Apple iPad 2010), however, they have also become an indispensable part of the communications landscape in the home. In terms of appearance and features, they are very similar to smartphones. Some models look like a mere enlarged version of the manufacturer's respective generation of smartphones (e.g. great similarity between the Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablet). Compared to the smartphone, there are both similarities and differences:


  • usually complete operation via touch-sensitive touch display
  • almost any extension of the functional variety through free and chargeable apps
  • full use only possible with an internet connection
  • Use of location-based services possible with many devices thanks to integrated GPS chip


  • Data entry only via on-screen keyboard or in combination with notebook-tablet combinations with removable hardware keyboard
  • Tablets always have built-in Wi-Fi, but devices with 3G support cost extra
  • Tablets have a much larger display from 7 to 12 inches (smartphones are about 4 to 5.3 inches in size).


Tablets Smartphones are hardly inferior in terms of functionality. In particular, the following functions are typical for mobile devices:

  • Internet access via a browser
  • Listen to music and radio
  • Storing data in internal memory or on an optional memory card
  • Navigation via GPS chip (location services)
  • Installing Apps
  • Remote access to employer's systems such as ERP systems
  • Gaming
  • Recording and editing of images and video recordings
  • Sending e-mails or instant messaging messages

Usually, tablets cannot be used to make phone calls or send SMS and MMS messages because the devices are not designed for telephony. However, third-party applications, such as Skype, make Voice over IP possible thanks to Internet access, where calls are made via the Internet connection instead of a mobile connection.

Apps for Tablets[edit]

Many tablets can be expanded using third-party applications. These can be downloaded free of charge or for a fee in so-called marketplaces. The three largest marketplaces offer a wide range of services:

  • Google Play for Android devices: over 800,000 apps
  • Apple Appstore for iOS Devices: over 775,000 Apps
  • Windows Phone marketplace for Windows Phone devices: approx. 150,000 Apps (as of January 2013)

Basically, the same apps can be used on tablets as on smartphones. Due to the significantly larger display size, however, it is necessary to adjust the apps accordingly to ensure smooth operation. If this is not the case, the apps can often still be installed, but the manufacturers do not guarantee their functionality.

Manufacturers and operating systems[edit]

In 2013, the operating system Android from Google had a market share of 61.9 percent among tablets. This was followed by the operating system iOs with 36 percent market share. Microsoft has a market share of 2.1 percent, while the remaining operating systems secure less than 0.1 percent of the market. With regard to the manufacturers, the picture is different. Here Apple is still the strongest manufacturer in the first quarter of 2014 with a market share of 32.5 percent. Samsung follows in second place with 22.3 percent. Other manufacturers worth mentioning are Asus (5 percent), Lenovo (4.1 percent) and Amazon (1.9 percent). The remaining large number of manufacturers accounts for a market share of 34.2 percent.

Advantages and disadvantages of tablets[edit]


  • Long battery life
  • perfect for on the go due to low weight and compact dimensions
  • Immediate availability (no waiting times during start-up)
  • Short training period for the basic operation
  • Very good expandability thanks to app offer
  • Operating system crashes rarely


  • Many devices are not adequately protected against malware (e.g. viruses, Trojans)
  • Often confusing due to the variety of functions, especially when installing many apps
  • Costs for connecting to the internet via mobile phone provider (without flat rate)
  • Constant accessibility
  • Difficult to input data in text form (but still easier than with a smartphone)
  • Short product life cycles and high loss of value due to regular new developments
  • Difficult data exchange

Importance of Mobile Marketing Devices for Mobile Marketing[edit]

In order for online marketing to have its full effect, it is important that the corresponding end device is taken into account in every measure. For example, the display size of smartphones or tablets plays a role in banner advertising in mobile marketing. Likewise, landing pages and the homepage itself must be designed for use by mobile marketing devices.

Tablets have meanwhile become an important sales channel for mobile marketing. 48.4 percent of tablet users use their device several times a month or even a week to purchase material goods via the Internet. Media and software (50 percent), tickets (44.7 percent) and services (39.8 percent) are also frequently requested via the mobile device. There are now special advertising campaigns for mobile users, mobile payment solutions and a large number of native shopping apps for tablets and other mobile devices.

The smartphone is also an important sales channel in e-commerce. In the target group of 18 to 39 years old, three out of four smartphone users already use their device for mobile shopping.

Mobile marketing devices also play an important role in the preparation of online purchases. Users use their smartphone to surf on rating pages and read what others have to say about the desired product. In this case, mobile marketing with the appropriate end devices as the goal helps to achieve conversions that are usually actually carried out on the desktop PC. With the help of additional devices such as the iBeacon, mobile marketing can also be used to advertise local offers.