Today, half of the entire U.S. population uses smartphones. As a nation, we are addicted to our devices and our apps. In fact, according to Mary Meeker’s latest report, most smartphone users now check their phones 150 times a day! So it’s no wonder that marketers are waking up to the fact that apps present an incredible canvas for marketing and engaging with consumers.

Is a new smartphone at the top of your Christmas wish list? If so, you're not alone. Last year, 6.8 million new iOS and Android mobile devices were unwrapped and activated on Christmas Day. And more than 1.2 billion apps were downloaded in between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.

  • After the turkey is carved tomorrow, the 2012 holiday shopping season will officially begin – and mobile will have a giant impact on holiday sales.
  • Many big-name brands such as Google, Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon have unleashed new or updated apps to assist smartphone-wielding holiday shoppers.
  • After 66 million tablets were sold during the 2011 holiday season, industry pundits predict that tablets will continue to dominate wish lists this holiday season, thanks largely to to new product releases.
  • With less than two weeks until Apple’s speculated Oct. 17 iPad Mini release, reports show that mass production of the smaller iPad has begun.
  • Though the iPhone 5 has just barely hit shelves, some mobile mavens have already started wish lists for their dream iPhone 6.

While all eyes remain focused on Apple’s official Sept. 12 unveiling of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, other major mobile competitors are holding their own media events to launch new products ahead of Apple’s highly anticipated launch. Still, reports point to Android’s continued position as top dog in terms of world market share for mobile devices.

With the iPhone 5’s reported release less than one month away, iPhone prices and sales have dropped, while reports about the device’s new features have continued swirling. According to new industry research, Apple’s iPad has continued its market dominance. And, as we say goodbye to the 2012 Summer Olympics, it’s clear that mobile earned “gold” as the channel delivering the greatest online audience engagement during the Games.