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Mobile Internet Search Engine Use Jumped 14% Between 2007 and 2008

According to surveys conducted by ABI Research in 2007 and 2008, 70% of respondents used their mobile phones to access information through Internet search engines last year. That represents a substantial 14% increase over 2007. The consumption of mobile data services, including search, has steadily increased year over year as indicated by the use of email and web from a mobile phone.

That jump in mobile search usage is nearly double the increase in users who said they accessed mobile websites generally. “Mobile search represents a utility for information anytime and anywhere,” says senior analyst Jeff Orr. “With a few keywords, one can quickly identify movie times, the discography of a musical artist, recommendations for a local eatery and so much more.”

Some types of content accessed via mobile phones rose in popularity from 2007 to 2008. These included news, game downloads, music downloads, and especially video downloads. A significantly lower percentage in 2008 reported downloading a ringtone than the prior year, while the interest in location information, social networking and sports remained about the same.

“Use of the mobile phone goes well beyond voice calls,” says Orr. “A significant percentage of respondents say they use their handset for mobile email and web access, reflecting the broader access to inexpensive or all-you-can-eat mobile data services in the US.”

The surveys, each of which sampled more than 1000 mobile phone users in the United States aged 14-59 and across a wide range of demographic profiles, were conducted in November 2007 and December 2008. They queried users’ preferences with regard to a variety of mobile email and web usage questions.

US Mobile Email and Mobile Web Access Trends compares results of the two surveys, and includes survey methodology, responses laid out in charts with additional summaries and analysis, and respondent classification/demographics.

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It is one of a series of Research Briefs comparing the results of ABI Research’s 2007 and 2008 consumer mobile content surveys. Other titles in the series cover blogging and social networking, embedded cameras and navigation functionality, mobile music, mobile phone purchasing, mobile TV and video viewing, and smartphone feature and usage trends.

They are all included in the firm’s The Mobile Consumer Research Service.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of emerging trends in global connectivity. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advise thousands of decision makers through research and advisory services in seven key practice areas. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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