From The Age newspaper in Melbourne: Australians take to mobile internet
Nearly half of all Australian mobile phone users now own an internet-capable phone, but only a third accesses the web regularly on them, according to new research by The Nielsen Company.
Australians’ ownership of internet phones now sits at 43 per cent, with 29 per cent regularly using it to search, email, find maps and to share their lives on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
Even though people have an internet-enabled handset, some people aren’t necessarily using it. According to Nielsen’s online business managing director Matt Bruce some still own older 2G smartphone models, while others are afraid of bill shock.
“The older models are not as easy to use. You have to find your way through the phone to find the browser, then go from there. The iPhone makes it easier,” he said.
Internet searches are the most popular online activity on the phones. Some 73 per cent of users conduct online searches by mobile now, compared with 30 per cent a year ago.
Other common uses include checking news and weather (59 per cent, up 18 points), email (58 per cent, up 20 points), maps and directions (56 per cent, up 24 points) and social networking (39 per cent, up 25 points).
The adoption of internet phones has been growing steadily since the introduction of mobile data cap plans in Australia, which go some way to reducing the risk of bill shock for users. People’s infatuation with the iPhone has also driven mobile internet adoption worldwide.
Nokia still maintains a solid lead on internet phones in Australia with a 35 per cent market share, however, the iPhone has made significant gains in the past year, more than doubling from just 13 per cent to 28 per cent market share. Intention to purchase an iPhone also remains high, with Apple set to triple its share this year, Bruce said.
With an overwhelming majority of the share of mobile social networking, Facebook is by far the most common social networking site accessed via mobile (98 per cent), followed by Twitter (20 per cent) and MySpace (17 per cent), the report said.
According to Nielsen, Telstra has seen mobile data traffic on its Next G™ network double every eight months for the past two years.