Never underestimate the power of core functions over features

FierceMobileContent has highlighted a very interesting study …

Almost three quarters of mobile phone users cite text messaging capabilities as the most important feature when purchasing a new handset, according to a consumer survey conducted by mobile solutions provider Access Systems Americas and independent research firm Amplitude Research. Given a list of 19 different mobile features and services, 73 percent of consumers cited texting as the most critical data component–cameras were second with 67 percent, followed by mobile email (63 percent) and web access (61 percent). Music (34 percent) and video (33 percent) also featured prominently in the poll. Conversely, only 0.5 percent of consumers said battery life plays a role in their phone purchase, with voice activation earning just 0.33 percent.

The Access survey also reports that 39 percent of respondents have added new applications to their handsets, with just over 21 percent adding six or more new apps. Forty-two percent of respondents cited stock tracking applications as the most necessary, followed by sports teams/game trackers (36.6 percent), business applications (10.3 percent), productivity apps (7.5 percent) and utilities (4.8 percent). Almost 40 percent of respondents said they use their cell phone for “alerts,” e.g. traffic, weather and stock market updates. Nearly 30 percent of respondents said they use their phone for banking transactions or to check account balances. [FierceMobileContent]

Messaging (txt and email) is the clear leader in what consumers want along with a camera… It’s easy to see how a device like an iPhone or a Blackberry with qwerty functions make it simple for people to select. Clearly those devices along with most others offer a host of additional capabilities, but people are installing only a few key applications.

It should be interesting to see what effect the iPhone applications store has on this once the initial frenzy cools out. My take is that we’ll see quite a few of the same types of applications and that there’s likely to be some fatigue after people get over the fact that they can even install something on the iPhone.

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3 comments for “Never underestimate the power of core functions over features

  1. 7/2/2008 at 3:46 pm

    I think Monkey Ball is going to break some kind of record!

    To me the launch of the App Store is just as important as the iPhone 3G, the Store in itself could end up being the iPhone’s 2nd killer app, after Safari of course.

  2. 7/2/2008 at 3:51 pm

    I can’t argue with the potential of the store, though I’ve yet to really see anything compelling beyond the games. Certainly nothing you can’t already do elsewhere … The games look cool, but that’s far from what I want / need.

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