September 30, 2008

Impact of the T-mobile G1 (google phone) launch

With Robin on holiday at the moment, he has asked me, Richard Seymour, the Client Intelligence Analyst for Hitwise to take the unenviable task of filling the Hitwise UK analyst blog void for the week! Luckily with the launch of the T-Mobile G1, Google’s first phone running on the Android platform with T-Mobile and HTC in New York last Tuesday, there is plenty to talk about.

The obvious comparisons with the Apple iPhone were made instantly by the media but it doesn’t seem to have filtered through to the UK web user or reviewers as fast as expected. According to Google there are already about 30,000 blogs containing the term ‘google phone’ for the week ending 29th September, compared with 5 times more containing the term ‘iphone’ over the same period. Looking at the related top search terms in the Hitwise database we can see that whilst the blogging gap is large, it isn’t the case for searches. Searches for the top term for the G1 (‘google phone’) rose dramatically last week after launch, but didn’t quite manage to reach the level of the top term for iPhone (‘iphone’) which had 16% more of the search traffic to All Categories.

Google Phone searches.png

This gap may be down to the apparent confusion in the naming of the G1. The top term for the G1 is ‘google phone’ despite neither T-mobile or Google promoting it as such, and as a result none of their dedicated G1 sites appear in the top 10 websites receiving traffic from the term. All the sites in the top 10 are informational or news sites (eg Times Online, Mercury News, ABC News) with one in three clicks, almost all organic, from the term ‘google phone’ going to www.google-phone.com, an enthusiasts site. Though Google have three of their properties in the top ten (Google News, Google News UK and YouTube), they only account for 15% of total traffic from the term, and attract the most paid traffic out of the top ten with 7% of click-throughs to YouTube from paid listings. The terms for the phone’s official name ‘t-mobile g1’ and ‘g1’ both deliver significant traffic to T-Mobile’s official sites, despite lower search volumes .

Top terms for the T-Mobile G1

1. ‘google phone’
2. ‘g1’
3. ‘t-mobile g1’
4. ‘htc dream’
5. ‘android phone’
6. ‘t mobile g1’

Website traffic.png

T-Mobile’s dedicated launch site, “T-Mobile G1”, gained an initial surge in traffic from UK users on launch day 23rd September, when the average visit time was 3mins 47seconds. Though traffic volume tailed off towards the end of the week, the visit time leapt to 7mins 52 seconds on Saturday 27th September, as people spent the weekend absorbing the New York press conference video and detailed content about the phone on the site. T-Mobile’s UK properties also saw a mini surge in traffic on G1 launch day, but towards the end of the week traffic was driven purely to their shop, 96% of it through paid clicks on the term ‘g1’ and 90% of it through paid clicks on the term ‘t-mobile g1’.

g1 searches.png
tmobile g1 searches.png

From our data there has been relatively low interest so far from UK based websites and consumers. Pocket-lint.co.uk, a gadget news and reviews site, however has taken the lead by gaining 1 in 5 clicks from the term ‘t-mobile g1’ and 1 in 8 clicks from the term ‘g1’. This is also confirmed by our clickstream data from the T-Mobile properties. For the week of the G1 launch, Mac Rumours, Wikipedia and Engadget were the only non-Google, non-T-Mobile information and news sites in the top 10 visited prior to the T-Mobile sites, and Forbes.com the only one visited afterwards. All of these are currently US-focused, producing content leading up to the G1’s US release date on 22nd October. We’ll keep monitoring the situation prior to the UK release in November - so watch this space.

Posted by Robin Goad at 11:19 AM
Posted to Gadgets | Mobile phones | Shopping and Classifieds

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