And no survey would be complete without a buzz word – and the one here is FUN-ctionals. Apparently, it’s a group likely to be self-employed, middle-aged men who search the mobile web for functional, day-to-day items such as train times or finding their nearest DIY store. Over half of men aged between 35 and 44 said they used their mobile phone for such things. Unsurprisingly, few teens get excited by similar searches.
The survey also found the five reasons why consumers bought into the net on their handsets. Top of the list is for maps and local information, followed by email and messaging, banking, transport information and news/sport. Bad news for the mobile TV industry though – this was seen as a switch-off on the go, as were dating and social networking.
Martin Wilson, head of Yell.com mobile marketing, said: “For a long time, mobile internet just hasn’t been attractive to consumers, as bad experiences on WAP, high costs and slow applications have put them off. Our study shows that consumers are now starting to find a real need for mobile search in their everyday lives. The emergence of the “FUN-ctionals” shows local information and maps are at the heart of people’s needs and the driving force behind the beginning of mobile search taking off.”