?As apps multiply and speeds increase, mobile users are snapping up smartphones – but realizing only a fraction of their potential, according to the 2010 Digital Influence Index, released by Fleishman-Hillard International Communications? and Harris Interactive.
Now in its second year, the Index has expanded to include 48 percent of the global online population, spanning France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Japan and the United States. Like last year, it examined the potential the Internet has with consumers’ decision making. One finding – smartphones may be less influential than realized as there is a significant gap between the capabilities available to mobile phone users and the number of individuals who actually take advantage of them.
This theme has been captured in other reports as well.
A separate report by Compete released earlier this year found that most US smartphone owners do not understand the current state of 4G (fourth generation) mobile phone technology.? Except for Sprint’s HTC EVO, currently no US smartphone provider offers 4G technology. The only 4G technology of any kind available in the US is the Sprint WiMax service for laptop and PC internet access, which is limited to certain cities. Nevertheless, 59% of US smartphone owners believe 4G is currently available on some smartphones and 16% think their carrier offers 4G.
Interestingly, 69% of US smartphone owners know that 4G allows for faster data downloads than 3G. Since a majority of US smartphone owners know this fact and also believe 4G smartphones are available, Compete analysts suggest it could indicate that people are not basing Smartphone purchase decisions on data service speeds.