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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 22, 2010

76% British mobile phone users don't use mobile Internet

With all the hype surrounding Internet-enabled smartphones you could be led to believe that everyone is walking around while surfing the web. If you were observing folk walking around the U.K. you'd be wrong, very wrong.

by Helen Leggatt

According to new figures released by U.K.-based research specialists Essential Research, over three-quarters (76%) of mobile phone users in the U.K. don't use their mobile to access the Internet.

In fact, 60% don't even own a mobile device capable of accessing the Internet, and only 30% of that group is interested in getting one.

For those that don't currently use mobile Internet, features such as checking real-time travel updates (33%), in-store offers (31%), grocery services (30%) and online banking functions (29%) were of most interest.

So what's holding back the British public from being connected to the Internet via their mobile devices? The research found that connection speed, the cost of mobile Internet and handset battery life were key barriers to use. However, it was also revealed that over half (57%) who attempted to log on via their mobiles found the experience unsatisfying and the technology too difficult to use.

"This type of research doesn't often see the light of day, and what we've found is pretty surprising news: there is an enormous gulf between the perceptions we hold about mobiles being a big part of our Internet lives and the reality," said Alex Charlton, Partner at Essential Research, in a recent announcement.

"In fact only a small percentage of us are truly Internet mobile users and the industry has a big job to do to move mobile Internet into our everyday lives."

Additional findings from the research include:

- 31% of smartphone owners have never used it to connect to the Internet.

- 86% of current mobile Internet users and 56% of non-mobile Internet users report they would be willing to use services via their mobile device.

- Social networkers are driving mobile Internet use with almost as many daily mobile Internet users (70%) using social media as they do on PCs (79%).

- 47% of mobile Internet users live in urban areas.

- 42% of mobile Internet users have a household income of over $65,000.

Tags: mobile Internet, mobile marketing, research, smartphones, social media, U.K.

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