Customers Find Poor Menus and Slow Networks Deter Data Usage

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Macromedia has published findings of a new consumer survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Macromedia. The poll confirms that more than 8 out of 10 (81%) USA adults currently own a cell phone but a combination of factors relating to consumer experience including download speeds confusing menu interfaces poor graphics quality and lack of relevant information serve as barriers to increased use of data services.

In addition to making and receiving calls, the most common cell phone activities among U.S. adult cell phone owners include: using the calendar and address book (42%), downloading or playing games (33%), and downloading ringtones (32%). Among the least common uses is accessing online information services (21%).

Consumer experience factors that prevent consumers from doing more with their cell phones include: connecting to network-based services is too slow (22%), menu options are not consumer-friendly (19%), and the quality of graphics is too poor (13%).

In addition, more than one quarter of U.S. adult cell phone owners polled (27%) claim that the information available from their cell phones is not useful for their day-to-day activities.

"Macromedia Flash enables mobile operators and handset manufacturers to rapidly create unique, personalized, and branded services and content for consumers," said Gary Kovacs, vice president, product management and marketing, mobile and devices, Macromedia. "Mobile customers want the ability to easily discover and use next-generation, rich data services. A better mobile experience would lead to increased usage and adoption."

Among those surveyed, 53% of U.S. adults would access traffic updates on their phones if the service were available, 42% would use a cell phone to participate in emergency responses such as Amber Alerts or SMS support of emergency responses, and 34% would access information about city events, restaurants, and entertainment. Further illustrating how the cell phone has become an integral part of consumers' lives, 42% of adults said that they would not go on vacation without a cell phone, compared with only 24% who said that they would not go on vacation without a camera.

Harris Interactive fielded the study within the United States on behalf of Macromedia between June 28-30, 2005, among 2,365 U.S. adults (18+), of whom 1,946 own a cell phone. Data was weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online."

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