US users lukewarm on mobile media

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US users lukewarm on mobile media

Americans 'pass' on premium mobile phone content, while SMS thrives.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans are using their mobile phones solely for calls and text messages, according to a recent survey.

According to analysts at research firm IDC, 72.5 percent of those surveyed in the US do not subscribe to digital media content on their mobile devices.

"It is clear from the survey results that many people just want to use their mobile phone to make calls," said Lewis Ward, research manager for IDC's mobile consumer services entertainment program.

The study found that price was the main reason US consumers were not adopting the services. IDC said that 47 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds surveyed said they did not use the services because they were too expensive.

Youths and early adopters with more advanced devices were most likely to subscribe to wireless entertainment services, according to the research firm.

The study found that users who spent more than US$60 a month on their mobile service were more likely to cite expense as a reason for not adopting media content.

"The fact that four out of 10 survey respondents feel they are overpaying for data services does not bode well for the future of this market," said Ward.

While findings for mobile entertainment were grim, the study did notice that SMS use is growing in the US.

Some 47 percent of respondents had sent or received at least one text message in recent months, and IDC estimates that more than 50 percent of American users have an SMS subscription for which they pay an average of US$3.70 a month.

IDC said that news alerts were becoming particularly popular, accounting for almost a quarter of all SMS messages received in the third quarter of 2006.
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