The increased popularity of Web-enabled phones in the United States has helped online shoppers become mobile Internet shoppers. One in 10 online consumers said they purchase online from their mobile device, 16% compare prices and another 16% research product details, says PriceGrabber.com in its report, Mobile Internet Shopping Trends.

As mobile Internet is gaining momentum, in the U.S., the number of people using their mobile devices to access news and information on the Internet more than doubled from January 2008 to January 2009. Among the audience of 63.2 million people, 22.4 million (35%) did so daily; more than double the size of the audience last year, reports research firm comScore.

Realizing the mobile Internet potential even in the emerging markets, Etisalat, a telecom service provider in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Nokia have announced their collaboration a few days ago to provide access to mobile Internet based services in the Middle East. The services include maps, navigation, and games on Nokia devices, based on the Ovi services platform provided by Nokia. 

This PriceGrabber.com report, released yesterday (Apr. 30), is based on a survey of only 3,305 U.S. online consumers with mobile phones, which was conducted from March 10-31, 2009. Though the sample size is too small in a population of millions of online and mobile users, survey findings reveal that online consumers have made significant headway in Web-enabled phone adoption and mobile Internet usage.

Among the other mobile applications for buyers, a web-based shopping search site, Twenga, has introduced an iPhone application to help shoppers find the best price before buying in-store. And Dow Jones & Company had introduced its mobile application, Dow Jones Sales Triggers for iPhone and iPod touch while AT&T and mobile commerce player Firethorn Holdings, a Qualcomm company, are offering mobile banking application for iPhone.

In the PriceGrabber.com survey, nearly 58% of online consumers currently own a mobile phone capable of connecting to the Web. Of the online consumers with Web-enabled phones, 21% own a smartphone, 8% own an iPhone, and 29% own another type of Web-enabled phone. And 42% of survey respondents said they own a non-Web-enabled phone capable of using voice and text service plans only.

Of the online consumers making purchases from their mobile phones, 58% have purchased digital content for their phone, 51% have purchased consumer electronics, 37% have purchased computers, 36% have purchased books, and 31% have purchased clothing.

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About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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