- 86% of the UK population is addicted to their mobile phone, claiming to be “anxious” without it
· Over half consider their mobile to be an essential accessory, customising casings and ring tones to reflect their personality
· Brits of few words choose to send text messages in place of voice calls to avoid conflicts or difficult situations
· Trigger Happy TV theme tops best and worst ring tone charts
London, May 30, 2002: WapOneline, the mobile entertainment and information company, today revealed the results of an independent survey that suggests the UK public is obsessed by mobile phones.
In a survey of mobile phone users between the ages of 15 and 35, 86% said they would never intentionally leave home without their handset and if they did accidentally, felt “anxious and out of touch”. The main reason was a need to feel continuously in contact with friends, in particular boy/girlfriends.
While 96% said they use their phone on a daily basis, three quarters of these admitted that to avoid a confrontation or difficult situation they were more likely to send an SMS message than make a phone call. According to 57%, text messaging is also the preferred means of communicating on public transport because it eliminated the stigma of making calls in public.
However, the shame attached to making ‘public’ calls does not extend to ring tones. 58% of those interviewed said they had downloaded a ring tone from a web site or magazine advertisement because they felt the call alerts available on standard issue mobile handsets were ‘boring’ or ‘sad’. The consensus amongst these users was that customisation, whether ring tones or phone casings, enables them to “individualise” their phones in the same way that they choose clothes or haircuts.
“For teenagers and younger adults, mobile phones have reached cult status. It is not so much the convenience of being able to make a call at any time from anywhere that is important, it is what the individual feels the phone says about them,” explained Tero Borvonpotsakul, UK MD, WapOneline.
Tero continued: “It was interesting that one of the most popular ring tones, the theme from Trigger Happy TV, was also the most hated. However, ring tones have a short shelf life. Our research revealed that the majority of those downloading ring tones change them every six months and 23% change them on a weekly basis.”
15% of those interviewed with a traditional “ring ring” call alert said that they had been accused of being boring by friends or colleagues for not customising their phones.
Catherine Elphee/Bronwyn Winley
Nelson Bostock Communications
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WapOneline is one of the world’s largest providers of SMS-based mobile entertainment and information products, providing ringtones, logos, icons, games and dating services to millions of consumers across Scandinavia, the Baltics, the UK and the US.
The company has sealed partnerships in the UK with Vodafone, mmo2 and Orange and is using marketing communications giant, McCann-Erickson, to advertise its services to consumers (WapOneline already has over 100,000 consumer customers in the UK).
WapOneline’s main focus now is marketing its turnkey, white-labelled mobile entertainment service, the Mobilenator Express, to UK media groups and other content providers. Mobilenator Express helps customers unlock the massive revenue potential of mobile entertainment by allowing them to bill consumers for receiving new content via SMS.
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