All Mobile Technology Users Are Not the Same, IDC Study Highlights Varying Needs

FRAMINGHAM, MA – DECEMBER 2, 2003 – The freedom provided by mobile technology is attractive to all people at some level, but understanding the unique hardware, software, and solutions needs of a wide variety of mobile users is critical for achieving long-term success in this multibillion dollar industry. A new study from IDC, Exploring Usage Models In Mobility: A Cluster Analysis of Mobile Users, segments the mobile user community through cluster analysis to more clearly identify discrete differences between types of mobile users.

"The consumer and business worlds are diverging as individuals continue to use mobile devices, applications, and services beyond work hours," said Randy Giusto, vice president of IDC's Personal Technology and Services research. "Understanding the usage patterns of discrete types of mobile users will help technology vendors and wireless operators map out where they need to focus their mobility efforts, and IT professionals where they need to make adjustments in their mobility initiatives."

IDC's in-depth study breaks out mobile users into four distinct segments:

Display Mavens: individuals who deliver a large number of presentations while mobile and also use, to a moderate degree, entertainment applications during periods of idleness.

The Mobile Elite: the early adopter segment that adopts the latest devices, applications, and solutions, and also uses the broadest number of them.

Minimalists: the opposite of the Mobile Elite, these individuals employ just the basics for their mobility needs.

Voice and Text Fanatics: a more communications-centric group of individuals who tend to be focused on text-based data and messaging.

The needs of mobile users continue to evolve as mobility is further integrated into their everyday lives. Mobile users will demand more performance, capabilities, and variety from the mobile devices and applications that will be available to them in the future. To achieve continued success in the evolving world of mobility, it's critical to understand how technology is used and by whom:

Hardware, software, and mobile solutions vendors must understand individual's needs today and how they will change over time. This is particularly important when trying to make gains in a slow-growth economy.

Wireless operators must be in tune with the next wave of mobile device growth (in both business and consumer markets) and the impact of converged mobile devices.

IT professionals must be sure that the solutions they implement fit the diverse business needs of their employees. They must also be sure to select the right vendors that provide the devices, applications, services and total solution for targeted mobility deployments.

IDC explores the basic mobility patterns of a wide variety of individuals through its Mobile Advisory Council, a mobile epanel community of over 12,000 people. In addition to personal use of a wide variety of mobile and wireless devices, applications, and services, panelists also directly influence or purchase these same products and services for their companies. For this study, IDC performed a cluster analysis of the survey results in order to identify different sub-segments of users surveyed and to analyze key usage trends within the clustered segments.

To purchase Exploring Usage Models In Mobility: A Cluster Analysis of Mobile Users (IDC #30358), please contact IDC's sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

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