TNS, the world’s largest custom research company, today launched TNS Mobile Life 2011, the largest ever global research study into today’s mobile consumer. Now into its sixth year, TNS Mobile Life is the result of more than 25,000 hours of interviews with over 34,000 respondents in 43 countries. In India, this study was conducted across 30 cities covering over 5000 respondents. It provides a complete understanding of consumer experiences with mobility today and insights into how this will change tomorrow.
The findings highlight that as “static” functionality such as SMS and still imaging become commoditised, growth will be driven through further demand for social functionality and new demands for video calling, streaming and sharing services:
The number of mobile web users visiting social networking sites grew from 30% to 46% globally, and from 26% to 50% in emerging markets*, leapfrogging much of the developed markets. In India, with current user accounting for only 3%; social networking is expected to grow significantly with 23% users interested in making use of this service from their handsets
Only 18% of consumers globally managed to upload photos or video directly to the web from their mobiles, during the same period, but a further 44% would be interested in doing so in future. In India, only 4% of mobile users make use of this feature but a good 34% are interested
Consumers in emerging markets are more likely to want to upload content (49%), but more than half (55%) do not have the ability to do so
“Mobile devices stand out at the centre of personal communication and personal entertainment in otherwise shared life of Indians”, said Parijat Chakraborty, Senior Vice President, Technology & B2B, TNS India. “With consumer preferences shifting in favour of other form factors, handset manufacturers and content providers will need to make their product range feature rich and at the same time engaging for the young consumers with infotainment services like stream music, live TV, video, access to social networking sites being some of the key growth avenues.”
“With mobiles increasingly becoming the primary device for internet access and communication, particularly in emerging markets, entertainment and multimedia features are a key requirement for engaging with consumers,” said James Fergusson, Managing Director, Global Technology Sector, TNS. “Handset manufacturers need to ensure that entertainment offers, particularly mobile music, gaming, pictures, video and social networking are available and easy to access. Many are missing a trick in not bringing more smartphones to market in high-growth countries.”
Many emerging markets users outpace their western counterparts, leading demand for the latest mobile technologies Camera features may have reached a saturation point, growing only 1% between 2010 and 2011, but nearly a quarter of global consumers (24%) say the ability to take and share pictures and video will play a major role in their choice of next device.
31% consumers in India indicate that the ability to take and share pictures and video will play a major role in their choice of next device coming a close second to the handset’s ability to store music (34%).
TNS Mobile Life shows the strongest growth in new services in the last 12 months has come from social video (10% to 15%) and Live TV (9% to 12%). Over half of consumers (54%) are interested in video calling, despite not yet using the service and half are interested in watching live TV (50%) or in downloading or streaming video (48%).
In Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, demand for Live TV in particular is higher still, reaching upwards of 70%. “Emerging Tier 1 markets, such as China, Brazil and UAE already have penetration levels that match mature markets,” Fergusson continues. “Multimedia content presents an opportunity to leverage growth potential in emerging economies. Income constraints in many of these markets ensure the importance of imaging and video services through mobiles increases.”
Brand, partnerships and demand for tablets – challenges in maintaining market share in a crowded environment Across developed (44%) and emerging (77%) markets handset brand is considered an important factor in product decision making. Content brands, however, are building equity in the mobile ecosystem, with more than 1 in 4 global consumers saying content and apps are a key consideration at the point of purchase.
In India, handset brands (36%) are considered an important factor in product decision making and have maintained their commitment. However, content brands (29% to 37%) have leapfrogged and overpowered network brands (35% to 27%) in the last 12 months. “Emergence of content as a strong contender in the entire ecosystem further reiterates the need to adopt a more collaborative approach in order to achieve sustained growth,” adds Parijat.
The results from TNS Mobile Life show that as markets mature, key purchase influencers shift to content and application offerings, along with operating system. Providing desirable content – and engaging with local partners where appropriate - is a clear opportunity to capture equity in markets where content brand share is low, but increasing.
Partnerships will become increasingly important as handset manufacturers look to maintain market share as tablets are just beginning to appear in the horizon in the Indian market. Fortunately for handset manufacturers, consumer’s intention to purchase a tablet is low and at the same time is viewed either as a complementary device or as a replacement for a PC, rather than a mobile.
“While there has been previous research into mobility, Mobile Life has truly set a precedent in its scope, depth and breadth of information on mobile consumers’ behaviour and decision influences,” said Fergusson. “The study reveals significant breakthroughs and detailed analyses of the interests, key drivers and influencers in consumers’ purchase decisions across the globe.”
Source: TNS Mobile