More than 60% of mobile users aged 16 to 24 in select Western European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK) have an Internet-capable mobile phone, but only 18% of them actually use mobile Internet services. Forrester Research sees the same lack of interest when it comes to mobile phone features. While features like polyphonic ring tones, mobile Internet capability, color screens, and the ability to download games are most widespread at the moment, a high 63% of mobile users say they don’t need a sophisticated phone; they just need it for voice calling and messaging.
Europe’s mobile phone penetration has plateaued at around 80%. The UK and Italy have reached saturation levels, while France still has some room for growth, it currently has just 69% penetration. Mobile phone brand ownership displayed minor changes from the past two years, but Nokia is still in the lead, ahead of Siemens and Motorola. Nearly 60% of mobile accounts are prepay. Some 70% of mobile users use SMS as a way to communicate, but the popularity of MMS/picture messaging doesn’t come close: A low 14% of Europe’s mobile users have adopted this service. Other favorite services are mobile gaming and buying ring tones, via both SMS and the PC-based Internet. Nearly 17 mln users across Europe already access the mobile Internet, about 9% of all mobile users. The UK leads in adoption, with 15% of mobile users browsing the Net from their phones.