Mobile Phones Revolutionize Webbrowsing, Study Says
By Steve Javors
PARIS, France â€” According to the annual study by Ipsos Insight called â€œThe Face of the Web,â€ mobile phone browsing is globally revolutionizing the way people view the Internet. The boom of cheap mobile phones, coupled with faster wireless networks has fueled its growth.
The study was conducted in November and December 2005 among 6,544 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S.
â€œAccessing the Internet on a wireless handheld device is no longer a novelty for consumers in the major global economies,â€ Brian Cruikshank, senior Vice President and managing director for Ipsos said. â€œIn the long term, many of todayâ€™s PC-centric online activities could be complemented through the mobile phone or migrate to the mobile phone altogether, due to great convenience and faster connection speeds.â€
Twenty-eight percent of mobile phone owners have browsed the Internet on their cellphones according to the study. While thatâ€™s only a 3 percent increase from 2004, the study says that people over 35 are fueling the growth.
The study also showed that text messaging was the most popular online activity, used by more than half of all mobile phone households. More than one-third have sent or received emails as well, but personal computers still remain the device of choice to access the Internet.
In a related study, researchers Maryam Kamvar and Shumeet Baluja looked at 1 million search queries made to Google mobile and arrived at some surprising conclusions. According to the pair, searches for porn on cellphones exceeded similar PC-based searches by percentage. Based on the study, 20 percent of the searches on cellphones were for porn, whereas only 10 percent of PC searches sought the same material.
â€œWe speculate that people may feel more comfortable querying adult terms on private [mobile] devices,â€ the study suggested. â€œAnecdotally, we have observed that users often consider their cellphone as a very personal and private device; perhaps even more so than their computer â€” the probability of others discovering their search behavior (through cached pages, auto-completion of query terms or URLs) is smaller.â€