Office Beats Mobile TV – But Only Just

Mobile phone users would rather work, than play, on their handsets, according to research just released by ORC International. That said, its a pretty close call. Mobile phone users were asked to choose which features they would most like to have on their phone in the future. Top of the wish-list was the Microsoft Mobile Office suite, cited by 45% of the sample, just ahead of Mobile TV, on 44%. Just over one in 10 consumers interviewed claim to be using these features already. Other popular features were a QWERTY keyboard (cited by 39% of respondents), radio (32%) and an image manipulator or photo editor (31%).
The research was carried out through ORC Internationals recently-launched online mobile consumer panel ORC OmniPanel, a bespoke targeted monitor of perceptions and behaviours of early adopter mobile phone consumers. The research is based on 500 interviews, undertaken every two months, with panel members who consist of mobile users who have upgraded in the last 12 months, who are responsible for paying for their calls, who spend at least 30 per month on mobile services, and who have Bluetooth and Internet-enabled phones.
When asked what factor most influenced the selection of the handset at the time of the last upgrade, however, the highest proportion of consumers interviewed (31%) stated that they were driven to purchase because of the overall design and style of the phone. The next most important driver was that the phone should have a camera.
The findings have highlighted the challenges faced by the mobile industry in balancing the very strong purchase drivers of fashion and functionality says Neil Ferguson, Divisional manager of ORC Internationals telecoms practice. Handset ease of use will also continue to have a dramatic effect on ARPU. However, the research demonstrates that users will increasingly demand a higher specification OS and UI with superior application capabilities. Therefore, the challenge faced by the industry is in reconciling terminal design and functionality, with users media requirements at affordable prices. 
The next wave of research will take place in July 2006 and data will be based on the responses of more than 2,000 respondents.