Mobile Phones: Half Want the Extras; Half Don't

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Welcome to Sydney Morning Herald Online. Mobile phones: half want the extras, half don't

By Julian Lee Marketing Reporter September 1, 2005

Women buy more ring tones for their mobile phones than men, are more likely to get Samsung handsets and regularly dial up for astrology. Men use their mobiles for news, sport, comedy and porn.

As for married couples, the latest movie reviews are the most popular landing spot.

These are among the findings of a study by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association of Australia's 18 million mobile phone users.

"This comprehensively tells us what people are doing with their phones and it gives us something to go on in determining why," said Oliver Weidlich, an Ideal Interfaces "usability" expert and co-author of the Report on the Australian Mobile Content Customer.

One-third of respondents said they liked the services on mobile phones and found them useful and those who were already using 3G networks bought "significantly" more than users of other networks.

One-third had bought a ring tone in the last year, one-quarter an accessory for their phone.

Those who had bought a wallpaper, logo or screensaver for their handset had done so an average of seven times a year.

But perhaps the most sobering finding was the number of people who did not want any content on their phone. Fifty-one per cent of respondents said: "I don't care; I just want to use it for phone calls."

Almost everyone used SMS; women more than men. Just one-fifth used picture messaging. A mere 6 per cent used their phones for email.

When it came to services they would like to see in future, nearly half said= maps and more ring tones, and 44 per cent wanted timetables for trains and buses. Two-thirds wanted email and more than half instant messaging services.

But Mr Weidlich said marketers needed to realise mobile phone services had not always lived up to expectations.

Claudia Sagripanti, convenor of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association's mobile content group, said: "This survey shows that people have come back and purchased repeatedly so the experience has got better since things like WAP [wireless application protocol], which was a few years ago, and the industry is very careful about overpromising."

The study surveyed 2486 people, 80 per cent of them under 35, in April.

- Optus has 33% of subscribers, Telstra 31%, Vodafone 17%

- Of owners, 60% have Nokia phones, 10% Sony Ericsson, 10% Motorola, 8% Samsung, 6% LG

- News services draw 17% of users, sport 13%, weather 13%, astrology 12%

Copyright 2005. The Sydney Morning Herald.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at

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