Research shows that cameras, bluetooth, and music top consumers’ lists as “must have” features on mobile phones

The function-packed Apple iPhone 3G may about to be released to the world but many consumers say they just want a mobile that’s a phone
Clint Wheelock, vice president and chief research officer for ABI Research, said: “It’s still a voice-centric world. Consumers across all mature markets still choose their mobile operator based on ‘the basics’: price, friends/family on the same network, and network coverage.”

Speaking after the publication of an ABI Research consumer survey, Wheelock said the findings showed that digital camera functionality, Bluetooth connectivity, and music/radio playback on mobile phones were the top three features that people consider essential for the next mobile phone they will purchase.
The desire for camera phones with 2+ megapixels leads the pack with 47 per cent of consumers listing this feature as a “must have,” followed by Bluetooth at 34 per cent and music/FM radio functionality at 32 per cent.

Games and Internet access are also high on the list of features that subscribers have on their phones, but never use.
“Many mobile data and multimedia services are failing to reach the mainstream not because they’re unavailable, but because they fail to provide a satisfactory user experience and pricing model for most consumers,” said Wheelock.

However, he said the survey results identified some “surprising differences” between markets.
“Camera phones, for example, were more than twice as important for consumers in Taiwan versus those in the US,” he said.
“Similarly, Bluetooth is considered essential by mobile subscribers in Western Europe and Taiwan, but penetration of this feature is very low in Japan and South Korea, so it’s of little importance to consumers in those countries.”

Other key findings from ABI Research’s global wireless consumer survey of 1,402 current wireless subscribers in seven countries, are as follows:

* The three most common features that subscribers have on their current mobile phones are: games (64%), Internet access (61%), and 2+ megapixel cameras (58%).
* The handset features that are least likely to be regarded as essential are: Wi-Fi, mobile TV, and games.

Click here for full information on the ABI Research brief Wireless Subscriber Profiles and Preferences.

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