Consumer mobile use is maturing, IDC finds

17 Dec 2003

Mobile consumers are depending more heavily on solutions that operate around the clock as the hard line between business use and consumer use is blurring, according to tech market analyst IDC.

IDC’s new research study, Mobilising the Consumer: 2003 Survey Results, which covered over 2,000 respondents in 87 countries, found that personal use of mobile devices, technology applications and services is on the rise as many previously business-focused applications have been extended or repositioned for the home.

Survey respondents stated that nearly 36pc of all personal calls from home are made from their mobile phone and that they spend more on cellular services per month than on broadband, cable/satellite TV and landline telephone services.

Mobile consumers also tended to adopt more of the latest technology and consumer electronic products from wireless networks to flat screen TVs.

“Consumers who have adopted mobile solutions either within or outside of the home represent a unique segment to market next-generation technology and services to,” said Randy Giusto, IDC’s vice president of personal technologies and services. “The home is considered the next big thing and understanding the usage patterns and buying intentions of consumers who are mobile is key to tapping a red hot market segment.”

Among the key survey findings was the fact that a Wi-Fi connection is the most popular way that consumers who are mobile access the internet wirelessly, despite the existence of GPRS cards.

Consumers who used mobile phones prefer (or would prefer) the standard handset keypad, while consumers who used PDAs or converged mobile devices prefer some type of QWERTY solution.

Almost one third (32pc) of respondents said they would prefer not to use instant messaging on their mobile device.

Mobile consumers select their wireless carrier primarily based on coverage area and quality of service and not based on seeking out the hottest new device, the survey found.

Finally, the survey found that the number one reason mobile consumers access the internet wirelessly is for email, followed by checking the news and general web browsing.

By John Kennedy