Many Swedes see a definite advantage in being able to send e-mails by mobile phone and would use the function more often if they didn't perceive it as being too awkward. Working with greater flexibility and creating more family and leisure time by not being tied down to the office is highlighted as a key advantage of having e-mail in your mobile phone.
Although e-mail on mobile phones has been available for some time, it hasn't yet achieved its breakthrough in Sweden. In other countries such the US and the UK, developments have come further; mainly on the back of new, simpler solutions and mobile terminals. Several players are now focussing strongly on mobile e-mail and Vodafone Sweden is one of the players that anticipates a major breakthrough in the near future.
"Our survey confirms what many of us have sensed instinctively -- that there is considerable interest in mobile e-mail but many people still find it unnecessarily tricky to use. But now we have both the solutions and terminals to make e-mailing by mobile phone simplicity itself and we expect to see a major breakthrough for mobile e-mail in the not-too-distant future," says Klas Wallstrom, Director of Business Segment at Vodafone Sweden.
Users want to reach others and be reached; Six out of ten mobile users said they get frustrated about not being reachable. One-third of mobile users also quoted reachability as being one of the main advantages of having e-mail on your mobile phone. One-quarter prioritised greater work flexibility to allow less time to be spent at the office and more time to be spent with their families. A significant portion (20 per cent) liked the idea of not having to lug their computers around with them.
An above-average number of parents with children under 15 said that being reachable was a key priority. More peace of mind and better control when picking up at day care, on school outings and other children's activities were some of the underlying reasons. Four out of ten parents communicate frequently with their children by mobile phone while nearly as many (36 per cent) also do so but less frequently.
-- and not have to keep an eye on their computers all the time When asked which places they send most e-mails from, 46 per cent answered the office and six per cent said the couch at home. Places outside the home that people send e-mails from -- either frequently or less frequently -- are Internet cafes (33 per cent), public libraries (27 per cent) and hotels (26 per cent).
Sending e-mails from mobile phones awkward Despite its obvious advantages and the fact that more than half (53 per cent) the number of mobile users are attracted by the idea of sending e-mails from their mobile phone, only 8 per cent said that they used their mobile phones for sending e-mails on a frequent basis. The biggest obstacle was the keyboard which 40 per cent considered to be too small. Around 20% maintained that it takes too long to download e-mails, while around 10% maintained that adjusting the settings was too complicated.
Vodafone Sweden's current focus on the solution BlackBerry(R), however, has meant that several new mobile e-mail solutions are now available in the Swedish market. BlackBerry has seen great success in the US and is currently available in some 30 countries. BlackBerry wireless handsets are integrated communication devices ideally adapted for mobile e-mail. With their easy-to-use keyboards and BlackBerry's push capability, e-mails are delivered automatically to the handset without the user having to download them first.
About the survey
This survey was conducted by Cint. Questions were answered via an e-mail questionnaire by 1,093 people in the 18-65 age group in October 2004. Respondents answered questions about their e-mail habits and interest in having e-mail on their mobile phones