Mobile Owners Show Keen Interest in Location-Based Services

April 26, 2012

tns-mobile-location-based-services-april2012.jpgMobile location-based services (LBS) are poised to go mainstream, finds TNS in April 2012 survey results. Although use of LBS is not yet widespread, at 19% of the 48,000 mobile owners surveyed across 58 countries, 62% of those not currently using LBS say they are interested, indicating that broad use is around the corner. The most common reason for current use is for navigation (46%), although more socially-related activities such as findings restaurants (26%) and finding friends nearby (22%) are making their way into the picture. 19% say they use LBS to check public transport, while 13% do so for a deal or special offer.

LBS Use More Popular in the US

tns-us-interest-in-mobile-features-april2012.jpgData from TNS’ “Mobile Life” indicates that 69% of US mobile owners either currently use location-based services (40%) or are interested in doing so (29%). This makes LBS as popular as applications (45% using and 24% reporting interest), and more popular than Wi-Fi (40% using; 27% interested), social networking (43% using; 19% interested), QR codes (24% using; 30% interested), and mobile wallet (14% using; 26% interested).

The most popular mobile features among US device owners are email and web browsing, with roughly half reporting current use and a further one-quarter claiming interest.

Entertainment Apps Most Common in US

Among US mobile owners, entertainment apps are the most widespread, with roughly one-third reporting current use, and an additional 10% saying they are interested. Shopping apps are next, with slightly more than one-quarter reporting use, and a further 8% claiming interest. According to December 2011 PriceGrabber survey results, 60% of the smartphone owners surveyed had at least one shopping-related app on their device.

Meanwhile, data from the LBS study indicates that after entertainment and shopping, travel (23%), photography (22%), and sports (19%) apps are the next-most popular of the app categories identified in terms of current use.

Other Findings:

  • Use of location-based services is most common in Singapore, at 63% of mobile owners.
  • 3 in 5 mobile users in Japan currently use QR codes, the highest proportion of the markets studied.
  • One-third of the global respondents who already or would like to use mobile voucher schemes are enthusiastic about receiving deals when they are nearby a store that they like.
  • 1 in 5 mobile users said they find mobile advertising interesting if it offers them a deal near their current location.

About the Data: Mobile Life surveys 48,000 consumers in 58 different markets including: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, CoteD’Ivoire, CzechRepublic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, HongKong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, NewZealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, USA, and Vietnam. The fieldword was undertaken in all markets between November 2011 and January 2012.

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