Mobile Internet Adoption Driven By Better Browsers

    December 5, 2007

High-speed wireless data networks are available to most cell phone users, but few are performing "desktop" activities according to a new report from JupiterResearch, "Mobile Internet: Leave the Browser at Home on the Desktop."

Sixty-three percent of mobile owners are not using cell phones to access online services such as search engines or to search for information from newspapers, which are popular activities on computers. Thirty-seven percent of cell phone owners are accessing some type of information or services on their cell phone, which indicates a demand for more than just voice services from cell phone users.

"We’re not advocating the browser go away – just that there should be an alternative for ‘glanceable’ content – the content people need frequently," said Vice President Julie Ask, lead analyst of the report.

"Consumers are willing to pay for good experiences and products. The industry should focus on this reality. In turn, they can double or triple current adoption levels and drive up usage by focusing efforts on those cell phone users who would be motivated by a better user interface and more compelling experiences.."

Better experiences, along with lower pricing, will likely increase adoption of Internet services on cell phones, but from a provider view there are a varying degree of expense and challenges surrounding implementation. Consumer demand is creating a real need for a complement to the browser on mobile devices.

"Browser alternatives such as widgets or applets, which are mini applications that allow for content to be easily accessed from a home screen or with just a few clicks, can meet consumer demands for quick access to information," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch.

"The goal should be to engage the user through ease of operation so that accessing information in this manner will eventually become second nature."