Personal Use of Mobile Technologies Is on the Rise Among Mobile Consumers, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – DECEMBER 16, 2003 – The hard line between business use and consumer use is blurring as many mobile consumers are depending more heavily on mobile solutions that operate around the clock. According to a new study from IDC, Mobilizing the Consumer: 2003 Survey Results, personal use of mobile devices, technology, applications, and services is on the rise as many previously business-focused solutions have been extended or repositioned for the home.

According to results from a recent survey of more than 2,074 members of IDC’s Mobile Advisory Council*, mobile phones in particular continue to be a big part of consumers' lifestyles. Survey respondents stated that nearly 36% of their personal calls from home are made from their mobile phone and that they spend more on cellular service per month than on broadband, cable/satellite TV, and landline telephone services. Mobile consumers also tended to adopt more of the latest technology and consumer electronic products, from wireless networks to big flat screen TVs.

"Consumers who have adopted mobile solutions either within or outside of the home represent a unique segment to market next-generation technology and services to," said Randy Giusto, IDC's vice president of Personal Technologies and Services. "The home is considered the next big thing and understanding the usage patterns and buying intentions of consumers who are mobile is key to tapping a red hot market segment."

The new IDC study also explores current usage of, and plans to use, a variety of mobile devices including notebook PCs, PDAs, converged mobile devices, and mobile phones, brand use, and areas within the home where primary use occurs. The study explores wireless Internet access including applications used and the amount of time spent while wireless. Finally, several product and service scenarios are tested and analyzed including future mobile device choices, messaging solutions, input methods, Web browsing, and wireless number portability capability.

Key Survey Findings

• A Wi-Fi connection is the most popular way that consumers who are mobile access the Internet wirelessly

• Consumers who used mobile phones prefer (or would prefer) the standard handset keypad, while consumers who used PDA or converged mobile devices prefer some type of QWERTY solution

• Given the ability, 32% of respondents would prefer not to use instant messaging on their mobile device

• Mobile consumers select their wireless carrier primarily based on coverage area and quality of service, and not based on seeking out the hottest new device

• The number one reason mobile consumers access the Internet wirelessly is for email, followed by checking the news and general Web surfing

This study, Mobilizing the Consumer: 2003 Survey Results (IDC #30441), reviews the latest survey findings from IDC’s Mobile User panel on current and planned personal use of mobility solutions. The study includes an overview of the survey methodology, respondent demographics, key results, a 40-page PowerPoint presentation highlighting the results, and two sets of banner books including cross tabs by age, household income, gender, mobile devices used, number of PCs in the home, and brands used.

To purchase this recent research call IDC sales at 508-988-7988 or email

* IDC’s Mobile Advisory Council – a panel of over 12,000 consumers, business users and buyers of mobility solutions – is surveyed each quarter on a variety of topics. As of December 2003, residents of 87 countries are panel members, with approximately 84% of the panel based in the United States.

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.

IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. Additional information can be found at

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