Internet on the move: the people want mobility

Point Topic’s latest consumer internet research show there is a high level of interest in mobile internet applications. BroadBand Consumer Survey 3 (CS3) was carried out in December 2006 by Ipsos MORI and YouGov. They interviewed a representative national sample of 6,000 households in the UK.

“We asked them what they are doing, and what they would like to be able to do on the move,” says Dr Katja Mueller, Research Director at Point Topic, “and there is a significant gap between action and desire.”

• 60% say they would like to email on the move, only 6% had actually done so in the 30 days before the survey.

• 18% want to download music, 5% had done so.

• 46% want to browse the internet, 16.3% had done so.

“The gaps are closing, the numbers who browse the internet on the move has trebled during 2006,” continues Mueller, “when compared to our earlier surveys in the series but there are a number of things that could be contributing to continued low consumer uptake.”

• Interface issues - fiddly input systems, badly designed menus, small screens and low resolution outputs.

• Multiple units - carrying around several small, expensive pieces of occasionally delicate electronic equipment.

• Cost - if you are using more than a few of the listed applications you are getting multiple bills, from multiple sources and paying for multiple overheads.

• Integration - do you have the same email inbox and address? Can you transfer the music tracks you've downloaded from your mobile system to your home system and play it there or does the DRM refuse permission?

“If these are taken together they form a powerful set barriers,” says Mueller, “but perhaps ominously for many in the market there are some organisations which seem to have already taken these on board.”

Apple, renowned for good interfaces, usable menus and with plenty of experience in music downloads has shown the world its iPhone.

“It seems unnecessary to hail Steve Jobs as a visionary, but in our opinion he’s got the market right, we’ll have to wait and see if others can catch up with Apple…again,” concludes Mueller.