A new study published today out of the UK found that 76% of mobile phone users don’t use their mobile to access the Internet. Though it sounds unlikely, the study also noted that 60% of respondents claimed they did not own a mobile with Inernet access and only 30% of these said they were interested in getting one.
The study, conducted over a six month period in 2009 by Essential Research, also noted that 31% of Smartphone owners said they have never used their phone to connect to the Internet, while 24% use it to go online less than once a week and 8% said they had tried it, but don’t intend to do so again.
A study like this paints a bleak picture of the mobile Web and it’s usage, and seems to contradict all other reports saying that mobile Web usage will soon overtake traditional access. Still, Essential Research says the study was developed in consultation with a number of well known brands and businesses from across the mobile industry.
The study questioned more than 2,000 mobile phone owners aged 16+ using a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques, plus ethnographic case studies to come to its conclusions. “This type of research doesn’t often see the light of day, and what we’ve found is pretty surprising news,” said Alex Charlton, Partner at Essential Research. “There is an enormous gulf between the perceptions we hold about mobiles being a big part of our Internet lives and the reality. In fact only a small percentage of us are truly Internet mobile users and the industry has a big job to do to move mobile Internet into our everyday lives.”
While the study seems accurate, I question it’s methodology. There seems to be a lot of ambiguity in regards to how they came to such a bleak outlook on mobile Web usage. Granted, the UK and Europe in general utilize and interact with the mobile Web in different ways than other parts of the world, but such dramatic differences are surprising.