Mobile use of Internet search engines grew 14 percent between 2007 and 2008, according to a survey conducted by research firm ABI Research.
The company reported that 70 percent of respondents who used their handsets to access online information used Internet search engines in 2008. The jump in mobile search use is nearly double that of respondents who said they accessed mobile Web sites generally.
“The mobile Web and mobile e-mail continues to be a driver, and search is really the first example of that,” says Jeff Orr, senior analyst at ABI Research.
The survey indicates some changes in the popularity of online content accessed through handsets. News, game and music downloads and video downloads all increased in popularity. A significantly lower percentage reported downloading a ringtone compared to 2007, with respondents’ interest in location information, social networking and sports staying steady.
“A significant percentage of respondents say they use their handset for mobile e-mail and Web access, reflecting the broader access to inexpensive or all-you-can-eat mobile data services in the U.S.,” Orr says.
The surveys were conducted in November 2007 and December 2008, and sampled over 1,000 mobile phone users in the United States between the ages of 14 and 59. Respondents were asked a range of questions about their mobile e-mail and Web usage.