Still More Texts Than Mobile Web Despite Smartphone Popularity

By October 27, 2008

People use cell phones more often and in greater numbers, but how do they spend their time? A U.S. mobile phone user survey from Azuki Systems, Inc. profiles trends and emerging behavior in surging adoption and mobile time usage. 54 percent of those surveyed said their mobile phone usage had increased by more than 25 percent over the last two years and twenty percent said usage increased by more than fifty percent.

Even though mobile Internet access adoption is increasing, nearly eighty percent want easier access to Internet information and rich media. Current obstacles identified by users include long download and/or play time for media (69%), as well as difficulty in navigating to or finding relevant material (66%).

These problems stem from the failure to re-imagine an intuitive interface for the unique "third screen" situation of the mobile phone. While there is better access to more content, usability needs to be a primary concern. People are not browsing the Web on phones as if they were miniature computers, but as if they were "glancing to 'snack' on media," says Jim Ricotta, CEO of Azuki Systems.

Core consumer features are getting the most use, with 33 percent of users on the phone more than ten hours per week. 79 percent send text messages, and 29 percent do so for more than two hours per week. Smart phone features are experiencing the highest levels of penetration yet at 62 percent in the next twelve months. Fifty percent of these users accessing e-mail from their handsets, 52 percent accessing the Web, and 25 percent accessing video.

Smart phone adoption was tracked by age, with the highest levels of adoption at slightly under seventy percent for 35- to sixty-year-olds . The lowest levels at approximately thirty percent were users under eighteen or over sixty years old. In contrast, mobile Web usage was higher for those under eighteen than the 18-22 year range. Mobile Web use for those from 23-60 were at rates from roughly fifty to sixty percent.

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