Sunday, May 09, 2010

U.S. Mobile Culture Is Still in The Stone Age

NETWORK WORLD -- "The United States is surprisingly lagging other countries in the adoption of both cutting-edge and traditional mobile services, states a new survey by Sybase 365.

Sybase 365 commissioned a study of some 4,100 mobile phone users across 16 countries, including the United States, China, Germany, South Africa, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom, to learn about their mobile culture. The key finding: The United States finished dead last in the use of simple mobile technologies such as text messaging and instant messaging. Only one in three U.S. respondents take advantage of these services. In comparison, nine out of 10 respondents in China text on their mobile phones.


The United States fared only a little better with modern mobile services, such as mobile commerce and mobile customer relationship management solutions. Thirteen percent of U.S. respondents make use of modern services, edging out Canada. Whereas nearly half of respondents in China have adopted them.

How did other countries beat out the United States? Developing regions have more to gain with mobile commerce, Mallon says. In Africa, for instance, people can pay for goods with a simple text message and a payment card that acts as currency-that is, they don't need a bank account. In the United States, however, most people have access to banks and ATM machines. "Since we have more established and wider choices of payment infrastructure, there will be a slower rate of adoption for some new mobile payment services," Mallon says."

16 Comments:

At 5/09/2010 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since we have more established and wider choices of payment infrastructure, there will be a slower rate of adoption for some new mobile payment services ...

Yeah, and our fingers are bigger, so it's harder to text.

 
At 5/09/2010 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

China has few land lines and fewer phones and FAXES.

 
At 5/09/2010 1:33 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

I don't text message or instant message, and I am still able to do almost everything without paper. I only receive junk mail because I pay and receive everything online and autopay all my bills.

I don't even know what denomination my stamps are that I have in my desk drawer or the last time I used one. I certainly don't feel as if I am in the Stone Age at all. The USPS is obsolete as far as I am concerned for mail delivery (and probably package delivery, too.).

 
At 5/09/2010 1:38 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Internet download speeds are much slower than in Japan and Europe also. Actually, we are falling behind the world on many levels.

In the last 20 years. much of the world has caught up with us. In the decades ahead, my guess is that China and Far East will easily surpass us on many technical levels, and in terms of economic power.
Europe will surpass us in terms of quality of life, and technical adaptation.

We will have the world's best aircraft carriers.

 
At 5/09/2010 2:09 PM, Anonymous grant said...

"Globalization today is not working for many of the worlds poor. It is not working for much of the environment. It is not working for stability of the global economy. The transition from communism to a market economy has been so badly managed that with the exception of china, Vietnam and a few Eastern European countries poverty has soared as incomes have plummeted.
JOSEPH STIGLITZ 2001

 
At 5/09/2010 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least ten years ago, I watched a European use a cell phone to buy a pop out of a vending machine. They punched in the code number posted on the machine, and I imagine the charge showed up on the phone bill. Cool.

 
At 5/09/2010 3:06 PM, Blogger OA said...

Text messaging is a terrible measure of technological adoption. As even the article notes, "Users in the United States have been encouraged to cash in on unlimited phone minutes.."

Why didn't they measure other things like smartphone market share, use of the phone to do online banking, trade stocks, check new stories, check email, etc?

How about social networking like Twitter and Facebook? Or blogging. Those are effectively text messages to the world, whether they care or not.

Mobile payment is one thing I wish would roll out. Trying to keep enough change around for parking meters is a pain.

Also BofA has an optional security feature where they will sms a security code to your cell phone to be used along with your password. I wish more banks did that as someone has to have both the passwords and your cell phone to get into your account.

 
At 5/09/2010 4:23 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Clearwire expects to have 4 miilion customers for its 4 G (so-called 4th generation services) by the end of 2010. This is WI-MAX and optimized for broad band reception for service such as video. This is pushing providers such as Verizon to decide on 4G or enhancing 3G for mobile users in the U.S..

 
At 5/09/2010 5:41 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Well, those Third World countries you quoted don't have the pre-existing infrastructure that works.

It's a case of asking a loaded question where you already know the answer.

 
At 5/09/2010 5:54 PM, Blogger LoneSnark said...

Americans pay a tiny fraction what everyone else pays for call minutes. As such, it seems only normal for Americans to just go ahead and call.

 
At 5/09/2010 6:56 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

I guess Americans prefer to drive their SUVs to ATMs and use their high-speed top-of-the-line PCs from the biggest and best houses in the world.

 
At 5/09/2010 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One word: iPhone.

 
At 5/10/2010 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This seems to assume that that adoption of mobile technology is a good thing. I'm not sure that's the case. Personally, I don't like be "on call" all day because of an electronic gadget on my hip.

 
At 5/10/2010 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interchange (the cost to a merchant for credit/debit card acceptance) is 10x higher in the U.S. than Europe and significantly higher than the cost of accepting cash. Why would a retailer promote the use of a technology that will lower his margins?

 
At 5/10/2010 7:59 PM, Blogger David said...

"Only one in three U.S. respondents take advantage of these services. In comparison, nine out of 10 respondents in China text on their mobile phones."

And what % of people in U.S. vs China *have* mobile phones? A correct measure of text-messaging adoptation would be the % of the population using it, ie the % of mobile phone users TIMES the % of the population that HAS mobile phones.

Anyhow, why is text messaging more virtuous than voice? It is almost certainly more of a distraction when driving, for example.

 
At 5/10/2010 9:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 8:43

>"This seems to assume that that adoption of mobile technology is a good thing. I'm not sure that's the case. Personally, I don't like be "on call" all day because of an electronic gadget on my hip."

I agree. It's nice to be "out of touch" sometimes.

If your job requires that you be available, then there's not much you can do. But, for personal use, I found that sometimes the power off button saves me a lot of aggravation.

 

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