The Quarter in Mobile — Key Points I Missed

The last quarter of 2009 was breathtaking in terms of pace for the mobile market. Most of what happened, I either read about or covered in my writing. But somehow, I missed some key bits that I just picked up in the latest GigaOm Pro Quarterly Wrap-Up on Mobile (subscription required). In the 28 page PDF for example, I learned that Canadian and U.S. consumers account for 1.3 cellular connections per user on average. Here I thought I was in the minority with multiple handsets — then again, I’m still ahead of the curve with three phones, one USB stick for 3G and an Amazon Kindle. 😉

I also didn’t realize how much of a data disparity the iPhone caused during the last three months of 2009. Cellular carriers with an iPhone (s aapl)  on the network see 52 percent of their data traffic coming from smartphones. Those without an iPhone in the stable only see 4 percent of their data on smartphones. While I knew that iPhone users were data-driven consumers, I had no idea that the device drove data demand by more than ten-fold.

And what about 4G networks like WiMAX from Clearwire (s clwr)? I recall that the company secured more funding to build out its national WiMAX network, but I overlooked a key SEC company filing. Clearwire essentially has to make WiMAX work because it’s barred from switching over to LTE deployment until November, 2011. By that time, Verizon Wireless (s vz) will have dozens of LTE markets on-line, so WiMAX looks like an all or nothing deal right now.

Between these tidbits, the rising momentum of Android (s goog), cell plan battles and more people jumping onto social networks while mobile, the quarter left me out of breath. With new phone platforms and more powerful processors, it already looks like 2010 is picking up where 2009 left off!