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: