Musical Mobiles are a Hit says Continental

Consumers like using the MP3 facility on their mobile phone handsets, potentially challenging the iPods grip on the portable music device market, according to Continental Researchs Autumn 2006 Mobile Report, released today.
Among those that had listened to an MP3 track on their phone, 13% did so every day, and 70% did it at least once a week, the report found. Although MP3-compatible handsets account for just 23% of currently-available handsets, the number of consumers who have listened to an MP3 track on their mobile in the last 12 months (15%) is similar to the number who have used WAP.
Over half of respondents said they were very satisfied with the ease of use of their phones MP3 player, but the majority of mobile phone owners are not yet using their phones as a replacement for a standalone MP3 player. 67% of MP3 phone listeners also owned a dedicated MP3 player.
As the sound quality, user-friendliness (such as having dedicated external buttons, and a more advanced search facility) and storage capacity of MP3s, improve to a point where they are comparable to dedicated players, Continental Research says it expects the numbers using their mobile phone as their primary portable music device to grow.   
Interest in listening to MP3s on a mobile phone was particularly high among the 25-34 age group, with 27% stating they were likely to do so. The company points out that in the past 12 months, both Sony and Nokia have released handsets that include an MP3 player as one of their main selling points, showing that handset manufacturers believe this to be an area of growth, channelling considerable investment and promotion into this feature.
The report also includes network operator statistics, including payment type; mobile usage; type of mobile phone used; mobile spend; and satisfaction with the service provided by the users mobile network.
The Continental Research Mobile Phone Report has been published on an annual basis since 1992, and is one of the longest-standing surveys in the sector, tracking growth in mobile telephony, reporting on emerging trends and forecasting the future for the industry.
The data is derived from three sources. The data on subscription levels is provided by the industry, while the remainder of the data is drawn from two surveys carried out in July 2006, one conducted via telephone, with 1,090 respondents, and one via the Internet, with 1,286 respondents.