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Multi-country Study Examines Mobile Phone Use
Posted: 01-Jul-2009 [Source: Lightspeed Research]

[Of the four countries surveyed (the US, France, Germany and the UK) it was Americans (49%) and Britons (30%) who were most likely to agree that their mobile phone was now an essential part of their daily life.]

Basking Ridge, NJ -- A multi-country study released today by Lightspeed Research, a leading online market research company, shows the increasingly prominent role mobile phones are taking in our lives. With ownership of mobile phones so high and so many different functions now available on them, it is increasingly important to understand how people are using their mobile phones and what future opportunities there might be for new mobile applications. Of the four countries surveyed (the US, France, Germany and the UK) it was Americans (49%) and Britons (30%) who were most likely to agree that their mobile phone was now an essential part of their daily life and they’d be lost without it. By comparison, only 13% of French and 12% of German respondents agreed, with the vast majority in both countries saying their mobile was a useful tool they carried with them most of the time. In fact, 56% of respondents in the US leave their phone on 24 hours a day.

Call me – but I won’t call you

Perhaps the most interesting result in the survey is that in some markets there are users who never make phone calls from their mobile. In the US 13% of respondents never make calls, the highest of the four countries surveyed while 52% of US respondents make at least one call per day. By comparison, texting is hugely popular in the UK with half (49%) sending at least one SMS per day, while in the US 35% never text at all. Women send more text messages than men – with 29% compared to 25% sending at least one text per day, whereas men and women make the same percentage (52%) of voice calls per day.

Picture this

Mobile phones have evolved with new features such as cameras, games, internet access and music now commonplace on basic handsets while smart phones offer even more sophisticated applications such as video. While some people may feel these are unnecessary add-ons, the results show that in fact these functions are becoming increasingly popular. In the US the most popular daily function is browsing the web at 14%, while on a weekly basis it’s taking photos (37% of respondents), followed jointly by browsing the web and playing games (23%) and sending a photo or video (24%).

Have mobile, will travel

Respondents were also asked about a number of new functions that they might like on their phone. In all countries a satellite navigation system was the top choice, with 49% of French, 44% of German, 43% of British and 38% of American respondents choosing that option. Being able to locate friends, family and children in real time was the second preference in all markets except for Germany, where concerns over privacy prevailed.

Commenting on the results, Chris Urinyi, CEO of Lightspeed Research, The Americas, said: “It is apparent from the survey that the mobile phone is an essential part of daily life for most Americans and the results show that the mobile phone is being used well beyond the simple voice call. What looks to be important to consumers is addressing concerns regarding data security and the risk of theft if functionality continues to increase in future platforms.”

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