For several years, telecoms touted the advantages of the mobile web, hoping to lure their customers into higher-priced data plans. However, they met with very limited success... until AT&T released the Apple iPhone.
The measurement firm M:Metrics reported today that 85% of iPhone users accessed news and information on the Web in the month of January. That made this smartphone the most popular mobile device for accessing online news and information.
Roughly 58% of all smartphone users access the Web, while only 13% of all mobile phone users do.
The obvious reason for this is the iPhone's Safari web browser, widely regarded as one of the best available on any mobile device. But M:Metrics says there's another important factor many might be overlooking.
"In addition to the attributes of the device itself, another important factor to consider is the fact that all iPhones on AT&T are attached to an unlimited data plan," said Mark Donovan, senior analyst, M:Metrics. "Our data shows that once the fear of surprise data charges is eliminated, mobile content consumption increases dramatically, regardless of device."
iPhone users are doing more than just web browsing. M:Metrics found that 31% of iPhone owners watched mobile TV or video, versus 14% of smartphone users and 4.6% of all phone users.
And 74% of users listened to music on their iPhone, while only 28% of all smartphone owners do, and just 6.7% of phone users.
"Beyond a doubt, this device is compelling consumers to interact with the mobile Web, delivering off-the-charts usage from everything to text messaging to mobile video," said M:Metrics' Mark Donovan.
"Two featured widgets, YouTube and Google Maps are extremely popular among iPhone users: 30.4 percent accessed YouTube and 36 percent used Google Maps. In comparison, only one percent of all mobile subscribers accessed YouTube and 2.6 percent checked out Google Maps."