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Internet access is becoming the primary function of mobile phone usage ahead of calling and texting in the UK according to a survey released today by the IAB.

The global survey, conducted with research agency Crowd DNA, found that 62% of UK correspondents said they’d struggle to imagine life without a mobile phone.

Twenty-three percent of the UK correspondents in the global survey said they use their phones to access the internet on a daily basis, just behind South Korean users – 28% of mobile users there do likewise.

UK consumers also displayed the strongest “emotional connection” with their mobile phones, with 59% claiming “they couldn’t live without their mobile”, this is compared to 53% in the US and 31% in South Korea. 

The survey, which quizzed over 2,000 consumers and seven industry experts from Microsoft, Mediacom, O2 and Poke, also revealed that the UK was the leading market in terms of tablet penetration with 35% of correspondents there using them on a daily basis.

This is compared to 31% of US correspondents and 15% among those in South Korea with all those surveyed agreeing that internet access on such devices would only increase in future.

Meanwhile, the study also asked correspondents to rank emerging mobile technologies, such as NFC and cloud-based storage, with 74% of UK correspondents saying they found mobile wallets as “appealing.” Although, they did add that they felt that mobile-optimised websites and cloud-based storage are more likely to become a reality in the near future.

Alex Kozloff, IAB senior mobile manager, said, “It surprised us to see that the UK was actually leading the way in tablet usage out of the countries we surveyed. This is further proof that advertisers and publishers must make mobile and tablets an integral part of their strategy.”

Andrew Crysell, Crowd DNA’s managing director, said, “People are demanding more and more from their mobiles and tablets. The pressure is definitely on brands and media owners to really deliver in this area, and this research provides valuable pointers.”

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Published 21 November, 2012 by NMA Staff

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