Volantis Reveals Key Mobile Internet Drivers

Developers should be focusing on gaming and social networking as the key to persuading consumers to use mobile internet services more regularly. That’s the key finding from this year’s Mobile Web Usage Forecast from mobile internet firm Volantis.

The study reveals that entertainment content, more than functional services such as GPS and email, are becoming priorities for the consumer when it comes to their app consumption. The majority of US consumers aged 18-34 said that provisions for either mobile entertainment and gaming (42 per cent) or for social networking (55 per cent) would motivate them to use the mobile web more regularly. The trend was repeated in the UK where 55 per cent said that social networking would encourage them to use the mobile web more, while 17 per cent were keen to access games on their mobiles.

“Recent research from consulting group Chetan Sharma forecasted that the app market is expected to increase to 50bn downloads by 2012 with the advent of HTML5,” says Volantis CEO, Mark Watson. “We expect developers to see the demand for gaming-based web services expand exponentially with the introduction of HTML5 on mobile and the freedom for web-based applications that this creates.”

The report also questions the predicted dominance of the iPhone over rich internet services in the mobile market. 38 per cent of those questioned across the US and the UK felt that an iPhone was inconsequential as part of having a good mobile web experience, with just one in 10 Americans thinking that an iPhone was essential to enjoy the mobile internet.

“This result will be viewed positively by developers, as it confirms that there is potential beyond the Apple App store model for those looking to monetize their products to the widest possible audience base,” says Watson.  “The arrival of HTML5 will release developers from the constraints of Flash, making the user experience more varied, and allowing the development of entertainment, lifestyle and business apps which are optimized to provide the same experience across all devices. Freeing developers from having to focus on either ‘Apple’ or ‘Other’ applications will further drive the mobile web market.”

For the forecast, Volantis commissioned YouGov to survey 4,324 consumers aged 18+ in the UK and the US.