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41pc of iPhone users interested in mobile transactions: study

Forty-one percent of iPhone users are interested in mobile payments and more of them have completed transactions on-the-go than any other mobile segment, according to Yankee Group.

The report, titled “Why iPhones matter,” says that the device’s usability, and associated Apple mcommerce merchants like the iTunes mobile store, have created the impression that iPhones can safely do anything and everything. As a result, these mobile users are more experienced with a wide range of mobile commerce practices.

“IPhone subscribers are way ahead of every other category of mobile phone users in terms of banking, mobile payments, coupons, and mobile shopping,” said Carl D. Howe, director of anywhere consumer research for the Yankee Group, Boston. “They are leading adopters of mobile commerce.”

The Yankee Group provides insight and advice about information technology companies, products and services.

The iPhone and mcommerce
The report lists specific sectors of mobile commerce and compares iPhone users’ activities with those of other mobile users.

IPhone users score higher for mobile commerce activity than any of the other consumer segments under investigation in the report.

For example, 18 percent of iPhone users have completed mobile banking activities from their devices, compared to 10 percent of smartphone users and 5 percent of all mobile users.

Likewise, 16 percent have completed mobile payments, compared to 6 percent of smartphone users and 3 percent of all mobile users.

Nine percent have used mobile coupons, compared to 4 percent of smartphone users and 2 percent of all mobile users

And, 16 percent have shopped from their mobile phone, compared to 6 percent of smartphone users and 3 percent of all mobile users

Beyond mcommerce, consumers with Apple’s mobile device beat other mobile users in a number of other categories.

IPhone users are more likely to download applications, whether paid or free.

The average iPhone user has downloaded 5.6 paid applications in the past 90 days, twice as many as the smartphone average.

IPhone owners also spend more time on the mobile Internet – 37 minutes a day versus 19 minutes on average for all mobile users.

Overall, the report estimates that these mobile users are younger, have greater household incomes, and, as such, are more attractive to carriers.

Forces behind iPhone success
Apple has been inundated with complaints about the iPhone in recent weeks – so much so that Steve Jobs was forced to host a press conference to address issues with the device (see story).

However, the report claims that iPhone users are more satisfied with their mobile service than users of other mobile phones.

“Yankee Group research shows Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more and remain more loyal to their phones than users of other devices,” Mr. Howe said. “Mobile operators must understand the six forces that drive this behavior or risk falling further behind operators that have adapted to the Apple platform.”

Those forces are described in the report, and include:

•    The iPhone’s touch interface means the device is easy to use

•    Required data plans mean iPhone users are not afraid of incurring exorbitant data usage fees

•    Extensive add-on applications and content have increased user confidence in and familiarity with the functionality of mobile downloads

•    One-click application buying makes mobile purchases easier and more frequent

•    A premium retail presence, including more than 300 Apple Stores worldwide, bolsters consumer confidence in Apple and its devices

•    Consumer success experiences with Apple’s  iTunes mobile stores give iPhone users confidence when branching out to other mobile sites

Still, as other platforms, such as Android, improve the user experiences they provide, Apple’s dominance in these areas are likely to shrink.

“I would say the gap is narrowing,” Mr. Howe said. “Users with Google phones, for example, look somewhat like those of iPhones, but are different in details – they don’t buy as many apps, preferring free ones over paid, for example.

“However, at present, we know one thing for certain: iPhone subscribers spend more money with their carriers than any other manufacturer-branded phone,” he said. “And even though iPhone owners use more bandwidth, they still net the carrier more money than any other phone.

“As a result, carriers who don’t have access to iPhones are at a competitive disadvantage to those that do.”

Final Take
Peter Finocchiaro, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York