Mobile internet gains ground in France

11 June 2010

PARIS: Four million consumers in France now log on to the mobile internet every day, an increase from 1.8 million last year.

GroupM, the media arm of WPP Group, and SFR, the network provider, joined forces to survey 889 adults in the country.

Based on the results, the two companies estimated that 22.3 million people, or 57% of 16–65 year olds, own a phone that can connect to the web.

Some 23% of the total mobile audience go online using their handset at least once a week, a trend that has been encouraged by the rise in uptake of smartphones, which hold an 18% market share.

More specifically, 44% of subscribers to devices such as Apple's iPhone consumed internet content in this way on a daily basis, accessing an average of 4.5 sites in this period.

In contrast, only 25% of their counterparts with feature phones, which are less technologically advanced and boast a more limited range of multimedia options, did so with the same frequency.

Elsewhere, 56% of the adults who viewed online material on their mobile often did so while at home, in a possible challenge to the traditional dominance on the personal computer in this area.

Overall, surfing the net was the third most popular activity using a mobile phone on a score of 11%, behind making calls on 59% and sending text messages on 36%.

Of the 45% of the French mobile user base that had switched to a new handset in the last year, almost half did so for features like improved web browsing or to upgrade to a touchscreen phone.

With regard to applications, the typical smartphone owner had 15 of these tools on their mobile at any one time, but had paid for just two.

Data sourced from AFP/Les Echos; additional content by Warc staff