Barriers to Mobile Adoption

Here’s a long eWeek piece raising the question, "When o when will users take to the mobile Web in earnest?" Indeed, until they do there can be no effective mass mobile marketing.

My belief is that the user experiences that drive real adoption will determine what ad models ultimately work in a mobile context.

According to Forrester’s data (cited in the article): 65,000 U.S. households, some 15 percent of mobile services subscribers accessed the Internet from their devices in 2005, compared to only 6 percent in 2004.

At that rate we’re years away from any meaningful adoption. But there are lots of mobile marketing initiatives going on now. That’s why we’ve set up the panel "Mobile Ads That Work Today" at Drilling Down ’06:

Mobile Ads That Work Today
We keep hearing about wireless/mobile advertising and its potential. But The Kelsey Group argues that potential can't be realized until there's substantially more usage to create real value for those marketers. It's a version of the chicken-and-egg problem of local search two years ago. MSN's Erik Jorgensen said at ILM:05 that the majority of local search may be conducted on wireless devices in the future. In the meantime, how are carriers, device makers and ad networks dealing with the many challenges of the current wireless environment? Are there ad models that will actually work today or next year, and what sort of user experience will make them viable?


Here’s third-party data compiled by eMarketer on mobile usage in Japan and Asia. Of interest is that 76 percent of Japanese wireless users access the Web over their mobile phones. However, there may be cultural and historical factors here that prevent direct extrapolation to the European and, especially, U.S. markets.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Michael Taylor

    Having spent the last 6 years working with a company in Japan, your comments about culture and social situations is absolutely true when it comes to using the web on mobile handsets. Asians are extremely mobile, due in large part to smaller homes and a higher need to be socially active both in business and in their personal lives. Convenience and multi-use are also highly demanded and sought after features. Broadband is slowly building mainly due to the same mobile mentality driven by smaller Asian homes and apartments.

    Mobile web acceptance in Japan and Asia is being driven not only by the mobile providers, but by numerous companies seeking to utilize and stretch mobile technology (mobile banking, mobile payment, video sharing, barcode recognition, social gaming, etc). Having adopted one mobile protocol early on, the Asian mobile industry has matured quickly unlike the US and Europe where technology platforms clashed. With quick download times and simple interfaces, the US mobile industry could learn a thing or two from japan.

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