Study: 70% of U.S. subscribers searched via mobile in 2008

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Seventy percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used their phones to access information through Internet search engines last year--a 14 percent increase over 2007 totals--according to a new consumer study published by market analysis firm ABI Research. After sampling more than 1,000 U.S. wireless consumers between the ages of 14 and 59 and spanning a wide range of demographic profiles, ABI reports the growth in mobile search usage is nearly double the increase in users who said they accessed mobile websites generally.

The ABI study also reports a number of mobile content formats experienced a significant rise in popularity from 2007 to 2008, most notably news, game downloads, music downloads and especially video downloads. On the other hand, a significantly lower percentage of subscribers reported downloading a ringtone in 2008 than in the previous year, while user interest in location information, social networking and sports remained about the same from one year to the next.

"Use of the mobile phone goes well beyond voice calls," said ABI senior analyst Jeff Orr in a prepared statement. "A significant percentage of respondents say they use their handset for mobile email and web access, reflecting the broader access to inexpensive or all-you-can-eat mobile data services in the U.S."

For more on the ABI study:
- read this release

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