CTIA: I Want My Wi-Fi and So Does Everyone Else

Wi-Fi on mobile handsets has become one of those crack-like features that users try and then can’t live without, according to research that found 74 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.

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.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

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.

“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 at 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.”

Other notable statistics from the ABI study:

  • A full 44 percent of smartphones currently have Wi-Fi – and 90 percent will by 2014.
  • Fifty-nine percent of Wi-Fi phone users have owned their phones for less than a year.
  • About 56 percent use their Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones for both business and personal use.

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