The survey identifies mobile apps as one of the primary drivers of mobile Internet use. As a gateway to the Internet, mobile apps are extremely convenient. Not surprisingly, the survey confirms that a higher proportion of those aged 14-29 years downloaded apps (76 percent in the 15-19 age group and 80 percent in the 20-29 age bracket) and music (71 percent in the 15-19 age group and 61 percent in the 20- 29 age bracket). A higher share of men download programs or apps (74 percent) as compared to women (68 percent). Mexico and South Africa again lead the pack with the most number of respondents downloading apps and music. A majority of the survey participants in Russia (66 percent) download ringtones.
Information apps are the most popular app download in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK), France, Italy, Ireland, South Africa and Russia. Entertainment apps are the most popular in Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Finland. More than half the mobile Internet users surveyed have downloaded or viewed short videos (of less than 5-minute duration), checked weather information, retrieved travel information or read the news on their mobiles.
The survey’s findings, highlighting the explosive growth in consumer demand for communications, entertainment, commercial and social networking activities over the Internet will require significant and continued investment in infrastructure upgrades by communications service providers. Planning for this in a systematic way is critical to ensure adequate finance is available and needs to be done as part of an overall strategy which seeks to capitalize on the potential revenue opportunities available to providers through offering new and additional services through this medium.
The availability of different operating systems (OS) is also fuelling the growth of mobile Internet. When it comes to devices, 85 percent of the survey participants said that the OS was the most important factor in selecting a smartphone or tablet. This was the case with more 90 percent of the respondents from countries such as Brazil, South Africa and Mexico where there are heavy users of mobile phone apps. The OS is a crucial factor as consumers want easy access to Figure 2b. Operating system is crucial in smartphone and tablet selection. © 2012 Accenture. All rights reserved. Which of the following is your preferred Operating system? Bada (Samsung) 2% RIM (Blackberry) 8% Microsoft Windows 18% IOS (Apple) 22% Android 41% Symbian (Nokia) 9% Source: Mobile Web Watch Survey, 2012 Base: Respondents using a smartphone or tablet who see operating system (n=9,193; Excludes Don´t know answer) as ‘somewhat/very important’ services they consider important—such as communications, traffic and travel information, banking and access to social networks. The most preferred OS was Android (41 percent), followed by Microsoft Windows and iOS. In terms of geographic distribution, Android is the most preferred OS in most countries except in Switzerland, the UK and Ireland where the iOS is more popular and in South Africa where RIM is the most preferred OS.