New Mobile Statistics and Growth… By Osmosis?

Josh GordonHere is a fun, interesting, and surprising statistic about the growth of mobile marketing many may not be aware of: Nearly half of Americans sleep with their cell phone nearby. Superficially, this statistic likely makes sense. After all, many mobile devices do have an alarm clock, right? But, the research study, conducted by Synovate out of Chicago, also identified that 82 percent of Americans "never leave home" without bringing their mobile device along. While research shows that the mobile device is growing in adoption and usage of other functions besides voice, the point is that consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on their mobile device now more than ever before.

Interestingly, according to the survey 68 percent of Americans use their mobile device for taking pictures. As the camera in every “next” iteration of a smart phone improves, consumer adoption increases as well. Also interesting, consumers are looking for the most improvement out of phone manufacturers in the camera department. Over 30 percent of survey respondents identified camera improvements as something they were looking for in upcoming years.

The camera usage data point is especially good news for the adoption and proliferation of MS Tags and QR codes. Behind voice and SMS text messaging, consumers are using their cameras with the most frequency. As Microsoft ramps up the adoption of MS Tags by including the software necessary in their mobile Windows updates, consumers will likely be more inclined to use the technology while they are out and about. Removing the download barrier for technology that allows consumers to take a picture of something and get information about it immediately is vital for increasing consumer comfort with adopting new technology.

Adoption of new technology is interesting and important because nearly a third of survey respondents also indicated they did not know how to use many of the features on their mobile device. The mobile device is dependable and necessary for surviving the digital climate, but not every capability is important. These survey results showcase a new mobile mindshare battle – the battle over which features consumers are willing to learn, and which features are deemed unnecessary. Text messaging, voice, cameras, and alarm clocks are all basic, seemingly necessary, easy ways for consumers to use a mobile device. If consumers are not going deeper into their phone functionality, marketers must jockey for which features remain prominent in the consumer consideration set.

The question begs – which features on your mobile device are considered “unnecessary?”

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  1. Posted October 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Really interesting data…wonder what the breakdown is by type of phone.

    • Posted October 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately the study did not have that data available. It is difficult to speculate, but it is reasonable to assume the more functionality as phone has (read: smart phone), the more reliant on it the user is. Therefore, the harder the phone is to live without.

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