Mobile Industry Doesn’t Get Consumers

Imagine a conversation between a person who only knows Norwegian and other who is fluent only in Swahili. Well, that precisely the relationship between mobile industry and its executives and the consumers. RBC Capital Markets at its Mobility Evolution Conference in New York conducted an informal poll of 100 mobility experts, and found out that nearly 63% of those polled believed that consumers want to watch TV/movies on their mobile phones, while a whopping 72% believed that consumers would tolerate advertising on their cell phones.

This is the polar opposite of the findings of another RBC Capital Markets survey of 1,001 consumers released earlier this week. Only 23% of consumers expressed an interest in watching TV or Movies on their mobile phones. Only 20% of consumers said they would tolerate advertising, if an only if it lowered their costs. This is proof that consumers don’t care too much beyond – affordable and cheap voice plans, and simplicity. Experts picked price, wireless coverage network and necessity as consumers’ top three priorities when purchasing mobile technologies, while consumers cited price, compatibility and security.

My take on this: if you are a wireless carrier, might as well save those millions you plan to spend on music download services, or video services, and instead try and lure more customers with better (and cheaper) voice plans to your network. It seems to be working for T-Mobile USA, which attracted 4.1 million new users in 2005, despite its obvious lack of high-speed networks, and fancy offerings. Its unique selling point – despite spotty coverage – low prices.

Photo courtesy (via Flickr) Powerbook Trance