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Differences in Mobile Handset Usage and Spending

By Jean-Laurent Poitou | Sept. 20, 2010
While some business software companies work to integrate their offerings directly with online tools like Twitter or Facebook, the real business benefits will come from enterprise resources planning (ERP) and other enterprise software.

A big reason for this heavy use of mobile handsets in China is that the country has rapidly embraced wireless technology. In many cases the nation has skipped the process of building out the wireline telecom infrastructure and widely embraced wireless technologies instead.

Three: A higher percent of mobile handsets get returned than any of the other 17 technologies in the study.
A higher percentage of respondents indicated they return mobile handsets than any of the other 17 technologies. The most frequent reasons cited for these returns are that they don't work properly and are too expensive. In fact, return rates by India's consumers for mobile phones amounted to 11 percent, twice the global industry average.

Our analysis reveals that mobile handsets have a comparatively high return rate because they are, arguably, more complex, less standardised, more challenging to operate, and more prone to functional flaws (such as dropped calls) than the other technologies consumers were asked to rate. With increased complexity comes more consumer confusion and difficulties figuring out how to use the devices, and hence more product returns. Compounding the problem could be that survey respondents are not getting the help they need during the handset purchasing process.

Four: The most popular mobile handset applications are texting and emailing.
The top ranked applications used on mobile handsets (besides making phone calls) for all eight countries, ranked in order, were texting, emailing and taking photos. In general, these are the most popular applications because they are relatively inexpensive compared with downloading and watching videos on a mobile handset, yet enhance the user experience considerably. And texting ranked far ahead of the other applications in popularity. Mobile handsets are increasingly being used as multi-function devices, though of mobile video continues to lag other applications.

Five: Among the least popular applications on mobile handsets are watching videos and browsing the Internet.
Watching videos and browsing the Internet on mobile handsets remain relatively low in usage by respondents compared with texting, emailing, and listening to music. An overall average of only 35 percent of respondents indicated they watch videos on mobile handsets, and only 34 percent browse the Web. By contrast, 65 percent send texts and 47 percent send email. Why such differences? This disparity stems from the challenges making watching videos and browsing the Internet easier to use compared with the relative ease in texting, emailing and listening to music. In addition, consumers are still attracted to watching videos on other screens such as TVs and PCs, and connecting to the Internet via a PC, rather than a mobile handset. Despite these formidable challenges, the percentages of mobile handset users now watching videos and browsing the Internet is likely to increase during the next several years.


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