Wireless Watch for May 21, 2004

Enpocket Survey Shows Quickening Mobile Use in U.S.

More than a third of U.S. mobile owners are now regular SMS users, and eight percent use picture messaging regularly. Those are the findings of a new study by mobile marketing firm Enpocket, which also looked at the rates at which U.S. consumers are interacting with mobile marketing campaigns.

Two percent have texted in to a number found in an on-pack promo; 1.6 percent have sent SMS to a TV show; and 1.3 percent have done so in response to an advertisement.

Only four percent of U.S. adult mobile users have downloaded a Java or Brew game to their phone.

“Our research clearly shows the increasing reliance Americans have on their mobile phone as more than a voice communications device, but also as a medium for browsing and downloading content,” said Jonathan Linner, Enpocket’s CEO.

The survey also showed mobile adoption’s strong correlation to income. Seventy-nine percent of those earning over $75,000 own a cell phone, compared to 30 percent of those making under $30,000.

Phase one of Enpocket’s U.S.-based Mobile Media Monitor survey was based on 1,000 phone interviews in late April 2004.

U.K. Mobile Users Get Any Question Answered

Three U.K. carriers have begun offering a premium text mobile service called “Any Question Answered” (AQA) that purports to answer any question a person might have in seconds or minutes. Orange, Vodaphone, and O2 and are offering AQA, which costs a pound (approximately $1.76) and is provided by a company called IssueBits, led by former Symbian CEO Colly Myers. The company uses a combination of human and automated searching to return short, concise answers to virtually any question.

Questions can be worded in any way, and within minutes AQA will return a concise answer in a single text message.

“In forming IssueBits we wanted to develop a truly great service that delivers real value to customers. What could be better than to provide answers to any question for our customers, wherever they are, whenever they want them. AQA is the ultimate mobile data service,” said Colly Myers, CEO of IssueBits.

Some have suggested subscribers will use AQA to cheat at Pub Quizzes, an eventuality that could upset a longstanding U.K. tradition.

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