SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

95% of mobile users would use more data services if setup were easier

Posted by Admin on January 19, 2009

That’s the headline screaming out from some research undertaken by Coleman Parkes and commissioned by Mformation.

Let’s just stop and think about that for a few minutes … that’s 95% of people who actively want to be able to do more things with their handset, but the industry is locking them out because it’s made it all too complicated. If we just think about the UK for now that’s over 40million people that want to do more with the mobile (based on a UK population of just under 61m (see here) and an assumption that only 75% of those have a phone).

If we take that a step further and say that once these people are happily doing more with their phone, they will be happy to spend more on their phone – whether that is in increased tarriffs (ie increasing data usage), downloading apps, or just making the phone a more integral part of their lives. So let’s be conservative and assume that they increase their annual spend by £5 each – that’s £200million that the UK operators are missing out on.

Let’s be even more conservative and say that only half of those people would actually spend more … that’s still £100 million per year that UK operators are missing out on. I can’t even begin to think about the numbers globally.

Matthew Bancroft, Vice President, Mformation said of the figures:

“Subscribers are clearly convinced of the value of mobile services. However, 85% of the people we surveyed find it frustrating to have to go through a number of steps when they want to activate a service or application. It’s a bit like getting a new gadget, then finding that the batteries aren’t included. Providing mobile subscribers with a more seamless experience will remove these pains.”

It starts when consumers first buy the handset. According to the research most consumers feel that about 15 minutes is long enough to be setting up a new phone, yet the average time it takes is an hour.

This research clearly highlights why the mobile industry has to start thinking about how to make services work for consumers and not race headlong into new stuff that sounds cool, but no-one can use.

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