The stock market might be having its ups and down, but adoption of mobile phones is only going up, and the time spent using mobile devices is also on the rise. In fact, in a recent survey it was found that 54 percent of mobile phone users had increased phone time by more than 25 percent over the last two years. Additionally, one in five of those surveyed said the time spent using a mobile phone had increased by more than 50 percent.
These are the findings of a new survey conducted by Azuki Systems, Inc., an interactive mobile media technology firm. The company has released the findings of its first annual U.S. mobile phone user survey, which found that usage is on the rise. One major trend in this rise is due to the widespread adoption of smart phones, and of those surveyed 62 percent said they either own or will own such a device in the next 12 months. This of course includes the iPhone, as well as the upcoming T-Mobile G1, which utilizes Google Android technology.
Some of the findings were surprising:
*Almost 80% of those surveyed said they wished it were easier to access information from the Internet from a mobile phone
*The same number said they wished it were easier to access rich media on their mobile devices
*69 percent of users felt that the long time to download and/or play media ranked among the biggest obstacles for such content.
*66 percent found it difficult to find or navigate to relevant content
“Mobile device technology, as well as mobile content and application development is on the rise. As a result, the mobile experience is getting better with access to more content, and mobile adoption is growing at a rapid speed,” said Jim Ricotta, CEO of Azuki Systems. “However, as the survey results indicated, there is still work to be done in order to deliver truly usable mobile content to today’s mobile devices. Mobile requires a different consumption and interaction model where, unlike the desktop, it is less about browsing and more about glancing to ‘snack’ on media.”
While the United States has typically trailed the rest of the world in how phones have been used, mainly because our traditional landlines have been so reliable, it does appear that U.S. mobile phone users are spending a lot more time using the device. So far much of that time is just gabbing, but other uses are rising as well.
*Texting – OMG! Of 79 percent who send text messages from their phones, 29 percent do so for more than two hours a week. That’s a lot of use of the thumbs. As expected, it is the younger users that are the power texters. And while 37 percent of those who text are 22 years or younger, there is still a bit of texting being done by those 23 to 44. For those 60 or older there is almost no usage of texting.
*E-mail – 50 percent of users today get at least some e-mail via the mobile phone. Here, it is the slightly more mature market that is doing so, with 30 percent of those users being between the ages of 35 and 44 spending more than two hours per week sending e-mail via the phone.
*Web surfing – the survey found that 52 percent of users were using phones to access the Web, and again it is the 35 to 44 year-olds who were doing the most mobile Web surfing. However, 23 to 34 year-olds could catch up, as this is the demographic that is looking to upgrade to smart phones the most.
*TV viewing – currently only about 25 percent of users watched any TV on a mobile handset, and 88 percent of those watched less than two hours per week. The third screen doesn’t appear to be the next small screen just yet.
The survey further showed that social networking is having an impact on the third screen:
*25 percent of users are accessing social networking sites via a phone.
*64 percent of respondents reported that they would share content via a mobile device with contacts from social networking sites.
And for anyone who thought there was gold to make on the mobile, there is good news too:
*Nearly 70 percent of mobile users said they would prefer mobile ads in exchange for free access to mobile content.
*65 percent would take advantage of a promotion from local businesses if the mobile phones could offer such deals.
The Azuki Systems, Inc., survey was conducted with over 275 U.S. mobile consumers of varying demographic backgrounds. We’ll certainly be interested to hear how the numbers shape up next year, and in the meantime we’ll continue to watch for other findings on mobile phone usage.