Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Games, Internet are Least Used on Mobiles

What are must-have features on mobiles? Digital camera functionality, bluetooth connectivity, and music or radio playback are the top three features that consumers consider essential for their next mobile phone, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

The camera phones with 2+ megapixels leads the most desired list, with 47 percent of consumers listing this feature as a must-have, followed by bluetooth at 34 percent and music or FM radio functionality at 32 percent.

The survey results identified some surprising differences between markets. Camera phones, for example, were more than twice as important for consumers in Taiwan versus those in the U.S.

Similarly, bluetooth is considered essential by mobile subscribers in Western Europe and Taiwan, but penetration of this feature is very low in Japan and South Korea, so it's of little importance to consumers in those countries.

Regardless of all the interest in advanced features, consumers across all mature markets still choose their mobile phone operator based on the basics -- price, friends/family on the same network, and network coverage.

Many mobile data and multimedia services are failing to reach the mainstream not because they're unavailable, but because they fail to provide a satisfactory user experience and pricing model for most consumers.

ABI's key study findings are as follows:

- The three most common features that subscribers have on their current mobile phones are: games (64 percent), Internet access (61 percent), and 2+ megapixel cameras (58 percent).

- Games and Internet access are also high on the list of features that subscribers have on their phones, but never use.

- The mobile handset features that are least likely to be regarded as essential are: Wi-Fi, mobile TV, and games.