Wi-Fi is now a must-have for mobile phones; User affinity to drive annual shipments to 300 million in 2011
Austin, Texas - April 1, 2009 - Now that millions of people have experienced what Wi-Fi brings to mobile phones, they overwhelmingly report that Wi-Fi has become a required feature on those devices. A survey conducted by ABI Research found that 77 percent of users of Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones are completely or very satisfied with their device - a higher rate of satisfaction than that reported by users of mobile phones without Wi-Fi. Seventy-four percent of people who have Wi-Fi on their mobile phone use it, and 77 percent say they will seek Wi-Fi in their next phone as well.
"Consumers and business people alike are attracted to Wi-Fi-enabled phones because they deliver a great multimedia experience - and this has re-set user expectations for handset features," said Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "The wide variety of exciting Wi-Fi enabled smartphones on the market today is testament to how useful Wi-Fi is in propelling handsets from phones to true multimedia devices."
Wi-Fi's advanced performance and wide availability in homes, schools, enterprises and hotspots are key drivers of global user affinity for the technology. As a complement to cellular technologies offered by carriers, Wi-Fi enhances the user experience for countless applications including Web surfing, games, sharing photos, and downloading music and video. Wi-Fi helps carriers manage valuable licensed spectrum, entice new subscribers, and reduce turnover - all of which are more important than ever in the current economic environment.
"Given the very high satisfaction rates reported by users of Wi-Fi-enabled handsets, it is clear that Wi-Fi offers a competitive advantage for both manufacturers and carriers," said Michael Morgan, industry analyst, ABI Research. "A growing number of carriers worldwide have included Wi-Fi phones in their offering, and all of the major handset makers now include the technology in their flagship products."
ABI predicts that the number of Wi-Fi enabled mobile phone shipments per year will reach 141 million in 2009 and 520 million by 2014.
Other notable statistics from the ABI study:
- 44 percent of smartphones currently have Wi-Fi - 90 percent by 2014
- 59 percent of Wi-Fi phone users have owned their phones for less than a year
- 56 percent use their Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones for both business and personal use
ABI conducted its survey in February 2009 and included more than 1,000 U.S. mobile phone users between the ages of 18 and 59. Sample error was + or - 3.08 percent.
The Wi-Fi Alliance, which has completed more than 5,000 certifications of consumer and enterprise devices since 2000, has observed a year-over-year increase in the number of Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones entering the market. In 2004, the organization began to include mobile phones in its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED program. To date, 311 handsets have been Wi-Fi CERTIFIED, and are listed at http://www.wi-fi.org/.