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RE: ISSUE-296: "feature phone vs. smartphone, which handsets will make large web traffic ?" [All]

From: Eduardo Casais <casays@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 03:15:04 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <945793.72859.qm@web45010.mail.sp1.yahoo.com>
To: public-bpwg@w3.org

A very interesting set of figures. 

Unfortunately, table 1 is marred by an inconsistency in the last two columns: since the first line totals _all_ mobile subscribers, the final estimate on the number of mobile Internet accesses _cannot_ be smaller than for its components (smartphones and iphone). I suspect there was a drift from "whole mobile subscribers" to "feature phone subscribers" in these last two columns. 

>From column 5, we deduce the number of feature phone users accessing the Internet as 17760229 (53381981 - 25248000 - 10373752), which represents a rate of browser utilization (value B) of 6,6%.

Assuming feature phone users only access the Internet once (as in column 6.1), this also gives 17760229 accesses in column 7.1 -- way below the estimated traffic generated by any of the other categories of mobile devices. Using directly comparable figures actually reinforces the final assessment derived from table 1!

I have difficulties to understand how "the average mobile web usage amount of Smart phone users will be higher than total mobile web traffic amount of feature phone users" -- is a single average user generating more accesses than all population from another category a realistic forecast?

Finally, there are factors, some explicitly mentioned in the cited studies, that drive usage on iPhones and make the picture somewhat more complicated:

a) "The report also found that the average page size for iPhone browsing is more than double the mobile average, which the report attributes to iPhone users browsing desktop versions of websites."

b) "In addition to the attributes of the device itself, another important factor to consider is the fact that all iPhones on AT & T are attached to an unlimited data plan. Our data shows that once the fear of surprise data charges is eliminated, mobile content consumption increases dramatically, regardless of device."

c) I would like to point out that feature phones have had the possibility of side-loading larger content via Bluetooth (expensive to download over 2G/3G, given the unavailability of WLAN on feature phones) -- a possibility that does not exist on the iPhone. That kind of traffic presumably does not appear on the feature-phone traffic statistics.

d) Let us remember that some countries, especially the USA, are very unkind towards mobile users -- walled gardens, impossibility to dowload content and install applications (even Opera mini) are typical. iPhone users are privileged in that respect -- and hence more enticed to use their terminal.

Finally, I would be interested in seeing up-to-date usage statistics from the countries that are really on the forefront in mobile Web usage: Japan and Korea. Mobile Web usage there was always above whatever could be observed in other parts of the world, long before the iPhone was released. These markets also have advanced characteristics that could give an idea of how devices might evolve -- a feature phone in Japan is probably closer to a high-end phone in Europe. A look at what has happened and is happening in the Far-East would surely be extremely relevant, including for the discussion of mobileOK.  


Received on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 10:15:45 UTC

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