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Study: Familiarity breeds IM usage

The willingness of business customers to adopt mobile instant messaging has more to do with familiarity with PC-based IM services than with mobility, according to a recent study from ABI Research.
“The greatest adopters of mobile IM are T-Mobile subscribers whose demographic profile shows a high percentage who only work in an office,” said Dan Shey, principal analyst at ABI. “As office work typically requires PC access, mobile IM adoption appears more related to familiarity with IM through the PC rather than mobility itself.”
Verizon Wireless customers are the highest adopters of picture messaging services and use those services more frequently, the report found. AT&T Mobility customers are the highest adopters of mobile e-mail services, and Sprint Nextel Corp. customers mobile e-mail more often than customers of other carriers, according to the study.
In a separate study, ABI examined mobile broadband adoption among businesses and found small and medium-sized businesses are higher adopters of cellular modems and mobile broadband access than large enterprises.
“Our research identifies two key drivers: first, all businesses are familiar with data access from a PC, and laptops and mobile broadband simply make this access portable,” said Shey. “Second, there is no distribution favoritism toward business customers. Mobile broadband can be purchased from big box electronics and operator retail stores.”

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