E-consumers prefer mobiles to PCs, study finds

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 29, 2008

A new survey from IBM reveals that that over 50% of consumers would swap internet usage on a PC for their mobile device - a finding which appears to validate the recent growth of mobile advertising and marketing techniques.

Expanding on the May 2008 'Go Mobile, Grow' study produced by IBM's Institute for Business Value, the new survey identifies findings that validate previous conclusions on how consumers will be open to full adoption of the mobile device as the hub for internet activity.

The survey found that communication, travel and navigation applications, as well as news and information services, are expected to increase significantly in popularity and usage over the mobile internet. With the world's population of mobile-phone users expected to increase from the current 50% to 80% in 2013, which translates to a significant 5.8 billion people, the availability of IP wireless broadband and more affordable devices will change the way companies around the world operate and relate to their customers, employees and partners.

According to Dr. Sungyoul Lee, Global Consulting Leader, Electronics Industry, IBM, worldwide adoption of the mobile phone as the preferred device for accessing the Internet is just around the corner: "With 70% of consumers worldwide who believe that the mobile Internet has the potential to add significant to moderate value to their day-to-day lives, the time is now for companies to develop intuitive applications and services that allow people of all ages to effortlessly access and use the Internet while on the go - anytime, and anywhere."

By 2011, 39% of respondents said they expect to increase internet use on their mobile device by at least 40%. The Chinese consumers polled lead the world as the fastest adopting society of the mobile web. This finding is in synch with IBM's previous hypothesis that within emerging and leading edge markets, the mobile platform will be the primary way of interacting with businesses and institutions. These countries have in many cases leapfrogged the PC era and are routinely using their mobile devices for a variety of consumer services.

Consumers are most loyal to their preferred brands for communication services such as email and instant messaging, but the survey found a lack of loyalty for entertainment services. Over 50% would like to use the same brand on their PC and mobile device when emailing, banking and instant messaging.

In order to stimulate and increase mobile Internet adoption, device makers, mobile operators, Internet service providers, mobile application developers and content providers need to consider the following:

  • Define the company's mobile internet strategy by understanding consumer behaviours and identify the strategy that best leverages its core strengths.
  • Transform the business model to align with the identified mobile internet strategy: this touches areas such as Research & Development, Marketing & Sales or Services Delivery.
  • Establish and host a reliable, cost-efficient and scalable infrastructure to deliver mobile internet services to consumers.
  • Improve devices in terms of processing power, memory, resolution, screen size and intuitive user interfaces. Specifically, device makers need to think about how to integrate technologies such as nano projectors and projected virtual keyboards.
  • Move towards a high adoption of open standards and open source to further grow and nurture the ecosystem.

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