Today TNS launched Mobile Life 2011, the largest ever global research study into todayâ€™s mobile consumer. Mobile Life is the result of more than 25,000 hours of interviews with over 34,000 respondents in 43 countries. It provides a complete understanding of consumer experiences with mobility today and insights into how this will change tomorrow. The findings highlight that as â€œstaticâ€ functionality such as SMS and still imaging become commoditised, growth will be driven through further demand for social functionality and new demands for video calling, streaming and sharing services:
Mobile becoming the preferred channel for social networking
The number of mobile web users visiting social networking sites grew from 30% to 46% globally, and from 26% to 50% in emerging markets, leapfrogging much of the developed markets.Only 18% of consumers globally managed to upload photos or video directly to the web from their mobiles, during the same period, but a further 44% would be interested in doing so in future.Consumers in emerging markets are more likely to want to upload content (49%), but more than half (55%) do not have the ability to do so. All inclusive data plans (like Blackberry Internet Service) is a key enabler for these markets.
â€œWith mobiles increasingly becoming the primary device for internet access and communication, particularly in emerging markets, entertainment and multimedia features are a key requirement for engaging with consumers,â€ said James Fergusson, Managing Director, Global Technology Sector, TNS. â€œHandset manufacturers need to ensure that entertainment offers, particularly mobile music, gaming, pictures, video and social networking are available and easy to access. Many are missing a trick in not bringing more smartphones to market in high-growth countries.â€
Apple and Google continue to win the platform war, delivering better access to rich media.
Further findings from the TNS Mobile Life study show that content and service offerings are also playing an increasingly important role in terms of operating systems, with consumer loyalty supporting the continued growth of Android and iOS systems. Googleâ€™s operating system â€“ Android, as well as OMS and Tapas â€“ have gained 24% share in the past 12 months, growing from 9% to 33%**. This loyalty is due, in part, to Appleâ€™s and Googleâ€™s ability to keep pace with consumerâ€™s content demands, particularly with regard to social networking and rich media functionality. For example: Over half of Apple (56%) and Android (52%) customers access social media via their mobiles daily, but this figure drops to 44% and 41% for Windows Mobile and Symbian, respectively.51% of Apple and 49% of Android customers are â€œvery likelyâ€ to stay with that operating system, while that figure drops to 30% and 31% for Windows and Symbian.
Emerging Markets Very Vrand Conscious
After looking at the data there are a few thing that stand out when looking at emerging vs developed nations – in developed countries users are more interested in ease of use and input method, whereas emerging country users tend to focus predominantly on the brand name.
This is most evident in another study by World Wide Worx where it was found that Blackberry is the most aspired-to brand in SA with 24 percent of consumers saying it will be their next phone, while Nokia still has the biggest market share. Blackberry is also gaining significant market share in SA because of very good pricing, especially with its low data costs and newer cheap handsets. In a data deprived SA where users require always on connectivity and access to their social networks, Blackberry is quickly becoming the commodity handset in SA.
Khaya Dlanga sums up perfectly what is happening with Blackberry in SA:
Could not have said it better myself.