Asians want their mobile apps

17 Jul 2008

Consumers are using their phone to take photos, but they're not watching video, and the biggest obstacle to doing more on the mobile is cost.

These predictable findings aside, a new global survey by Ovum on mobile applications uncovers some interesting country comparisons.

Japan has the biggest number of people going online with their mobile - 45%. And 77% use mobile email at least once a week. No surprises there.

But second place goes to China on 30% - a result possibly skewed by being drawn from an online questionnaire, admits Ovum. But China is a mobile-centric society with thriving SMS, WAP and mobile internet content sectors. Not to mention 560 million mobile users.

Third place is a tie between Singapore and Korea. Germany is last among the 12 markets surveyed on just 5%.

Singapore and China also win the prize for greatest adoption of a wireless app, namely listening to music - half of all mobile users play MP3s on their mobile. Almost as many Chinese users play games on their handset.

Americans are the least enthusiastic about mobile phone music, while the Dutch are the most indifferent to games.

Tellingly, the three markets where users felt most deterred by price were not in Europe or North America, but were in fact those mobileholics in China, Singapore and Korea.

As for mobile video, it's just not there yet. Notes Ovum, "Significant sums of money have been invested to develop services but there are no real signs yet that users want to watch video and TV on their phones."

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