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Only 24% of UK consumers access the internet from their mobile phone

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Despite the hype surrounding the iPhone and the Nexus One, 76% of the UK’s mobile phone users never use them to access the internet, a UK-wide study into mobile habits by Essential Research has revealed.

Holding back the mobile revolution are basic hygiene factors such as speed of connection, the cost of mobile internet and handset battery life, the study found. Even when cost isn’t part of the equation, however, 57% of those who had tried to get online with a mobile and failed reported that they found the technology too difficult to use, access to a website was impossible and the mobile internet experience didn’t meet their expectations.

60% of UK mobile users claim to not own a mobile with internet access and just 30% of these are interested in getting one. Even for upwardly mobile internet users and owners of smartphones, one third (31%) have never used their phone to connect to the internet, a quarter (24%) use it less than once a week and 8% tried it but don’t intend to do so again.

The biggest driver of mobile internet adoption to date is social media but the ability to perform everyday activities such as checking real time travel updates (33%) and tracking in-store offers, coupons and vouchers (31%) were the most interesting to those that don’t currently use the mobile internet. Furthermore, survey respondents deemed well known brands the most appropriate to provide services for the mobile internet with 30% saying that they would like their favourite supermarket to offer grocery related services and 29% claiming that they are interested in their banks or building societies providing financial related services.

“With high profile marketing campaigns all around us, consumers are aware that they can use their mobile to check their email and use Facebook, explains Essential Research’s Alex Charlton. “There is a role for all of us to play in making the mobile internet a more attractive proposition to the mass market and the opportunity is massive.”

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