A new report from IDC concludes that the mobile entertainment services offered by cell phone service providers aren’t proving to be particularly popular with U.S. consumers. The report, entitled
U.S. Wireless Teen and Adult Consumer Entertainment Survey, 3Q06: Age, Device Type, and ARPU Segmentation , finds that almost three-quarters of respondents didn’t use any data services for their phones beyond messaging.
In recent months and years American cell phone service providers have expanded their service offerings to provide mobile television, music, gaming and other capabilities on new cell phone models, leading some industry analysts to believe, among other things, that cell phones might threaten Apple’s dominance in the portable music player space with its iPod and iTunes store. That’s proving not to be the case, according to IDC’s research, which was based on a survey of more than 2,500 American wireless subscribers and customers.
Steep prices are one of the main reasons, according to survey respondents — 47 percent of those between 18 to 24 years old said that mobile data services are “too expensive.”
“The fact that four out of ten survey respondents feel they are overpaying for data services does not bode well for the future of this market,” said Lewis Ward, research manager for IDC’s Mobile Consumer Services: Entertainment program. Ward added that a small group of U.S. consumers actually believes that data services are a “bad idea, or worse, degrades the calling experience.”
Mobile messaging services such as Short Message Service (SMS) are more popular, used by almost half of respondents. Only about 20 percent purchased a ring tone, and only about 10 percent bought a graphic, wallpaper or game.
IDC and Playlist publisher Mac Publishing are both owned by International Data Group (IDG).