Study: Mobile Web Access Increasing; Users Going Local

Due to the proliferation of smartphones, consumers are talking a little less and using mobile devices for a host of other activities, including Internet access, text messages and e-mails.

According to the third annual Mobile Market View Study released Tuesday (Nov. 17) by BIA/Kelsey and ConState, mobile Internet access is up to 21 percent of users, from 14.8 percent a year ago and 10.2 percent in 2007.

For the first time, Internet searches have also gone local, exceeding the number of out-of-market searches by a wide margin. More than 18 percent (18.5) of consumers searched the Internet for local products or services compared to the 11.1 percent that searched for products or services outside their local area, down from 14.3 percent a year ago.

The top Internet search activity was for movies or other entertainment at nearly 16 percent (15.9) of users; more than 13 percent (13.3) searched for information about restaurants or bars. Only 4 percent purchased an item that had to be shipped, and only 3 percent used a
coupon from their mobile phone.

Text messaging is almost as common as talking, with more than 48 percent (48.2) of users sending or receiving more than 10 text messages per week. Users who send or receive more than 10 e-mails a week hit 20 percent this year, up from nearly 16 percent (15.8) last year.

Mobile video viewing has increased as well. Nearly 8 percent of users have watched or purchased a TV program or segment, up from 5.3 percent a year ago. Music videos are more popular, with nearly 12 percent either watching or purchasing a music video, up from 8.4 percent in 2008.

Nearly 18 percent (17.7 percent) sent or received videos, up from 12.3 percent a year ago.
Results of the third annual Mobile Market View study were based on an online survey in October of more than 500 U.S. mobile phone users aged 18 and older.