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It seems that mobile phones are not just being used for calls and text messages, with a survey claiming that more than 75 percent of Australians now use their phones to access information.

According to the 2009 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index (AMPLI) released by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association, there is a rapidly increasing consumption of non-voice/text services including Multimedia, Content, Information and Entertainment services by Australians.

77 percent of respondents used their mobile phone for a purpose apart from texting and/or voice.  In addition, almost 50 percent of respondents say that they use their mobile to check their e-mail and social networking sites daily. Overall, 64 percent of respondents had used a non-voice communication service in the last 12 months.

The survey also found that 25 percent of overall respondents had used their mobile phone for banking in the last 12 months.  Some 19 percent of respondents have used their mobile phone to make payments in the last 12 months, using a range of platforms including their carrier’s billing system, PayPal, iTunes store, credit card and other systems.

AIMIA CEO, John Butterworth said, “This year’s survey reveals many Australians are now using their mobile phones in all aspects of their lifestyles, with a strong jump in the consumption of non-voice services. Despite user dissatisfaction at the perceived high cost of data plans, Australians have become more attracted to buying and using content, information, multimedia and other data services such as social networking and email.  There is also growing interest in receiving advertising via mobile handsets.”

 

The survey also found 48 percent (up 12 percent from last year) of respondents had used or visited an information service in the last 12 months, with Weather, News and Location/Traffic services being the most popular categories.  Across the board, consumption of each category of information services has increased.  Information services are being enjoyed in a variety of formats including text on a mobile site, images and video.

m.Net Corporation’s Director of Research, Dr. Marisa Maio Mackay said, “Despite the global economic uncertainty of the past 12 months, the uptake of mobile services in Australia has not only survived but has grown in spite of it.  Mobile phone services have now truly entrenched themselves as a commodity in the lives of many Australians.”

Nokia is once again the leading brand, with 47 percent of those surveyed owning a Nokia phone. Sony Ericsson is in second place (12 percent), Samsung was in third (11 percent), while Apple has entered the report for the first time with 9 percent.

Finally, 63 percent of respondents said that they owned a 3/3.5G mobile phone, showing that the Australian market is “growing up” in terms of knowledge and understanding of mobile phones.

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