of respondents used their mobile phones to access information through
Internet search engines last year, reports ABI research from data in surveys in 2007 and 2008. 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
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