Not Without My Mobile!

Almost two in five people (38%) in Britain say they cannot do without their mobile phone, according to research conducted by MORI for Vodafone.

Almost two in five people (38%) in Britain say they cannot do without their mobile phone. This compares with one in five (19%) who say they cannot do without their desktop computer, internet access (18%), email (17%) or text messaging (15%).

The research, conducted by MORI for Vodafone, shows two in four people (42%) say they rarely buy new technology products even if they have been available for a long time, and a quarter (24%) only buy them once most of their friends or family have them.

Looking only at those people who own/use a mobile phone, three in 10 (29%) only use it for urgent calls, and half (49%) say owning a mobile phone makes them feel safer and more secure.

Text messaging itself appears to be having an impact on the way people lead their lives. Two thirds (65%) of mobile phone owners/users send and receive text messages. Among text message users aged 15-44, more than a third (35%) say they have flirted by text, 31% have had an argument as a result of text messaging and 22% have had a date with someone as a result of text messaging.

Technical details

  • MORI interviewed a sample of 3,845 Adults aged 15+, in Great Britain, using MORI's Omnibus. Interviews were carried out face-to-face, in home. The data was weighted to match the known population profile. All interviews were conducted between 5-10 and 19-24 September 2002.
  • Where figures do not sum to 100 per cent, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple codes or the exclusion of 'Don't Know'.
  • An asterisk (*) denotes a finding of less than 0.5% but greater than 0.
  • Base is all respondents (3,845) unless indicated otherwise.

Q1 Which of the items on this list could you not do without? And which others? Base: All

  %
Mobile phone 38
Text Messaging (SMS) 15
Desktop computer 19
Laptop computer 7
Voicemail 8
Fax machine 5
Teletext 8
Internet access 18
Email 17
Cable/Satellite/Digital TV 15
Digital camera 5
PlayStation or other games console 7
MP3 or MiniDisc player 4
DVD player 7
Other 1
Don't Know 2
None of these 43

Q2 Which of the statements on this card best describes your attitude to buying new technology products? Base: All

  %
I buy new technology products soon after launch 5
I don't usually buy new technology products straight after launch, but I am often one of the first of my friends to own them 19
I do not buy new technology products until most of my friends or family have them 24
I rarely buy new technology products, even when they have been available for a long time 42
Don't Know 2
None of these 8

Q3 When do you think the first mobile phones appeared in Britain? Base: All

  %
Within the last 5 years 3
Between 6 and 10 years ago 17
Between 11 and 15 years ago 31
Between 16 and 20 years ago 28
More than 20 years ago 14
Don't know 7

Q4 Which statement or statements on this list apply to the way in which you use your mobile phone? Base: Mobile phone owners/users (2,724)

  %
I have a mobile phone which I do not use 2
I use a mobile phone only for urgent calls 29
I thought I would use a mobile phone only for urgent calls, but I am now using it more often than that 13
I use my mobile phone mainly for social calls, but I also use it for work 8
I use my mobile phone mainly for work, but I also make social calls 7
I use a mobile phone very frequently, but it is not my main phone 13
I use a mobile phone very frequently and it is probably my main phone 9
I use my mobile phone everyday -- it's a complete lifeline for me 14
Other (please specify) 4
Don't Know 1

Q5 Which of these features, if any, do you personally use on your mobile phone? And which others? Base: Mobile phone owners/users (2,724)

  %
Text messaging (sending and receiving SMS messages) 65
Predictive text messaging (i.e.. tapping in letters and the mobile phone guesses the word you are entering) 17
Receiving text-based (SMS) information services (e.g. news and sports results) 20
A built-in camera or camera attachment 1
Accessing WAP/mobile Internet services 6
Calculator provided on the handset 21
Radio provided on the handset 3
Games provided on the handset 18
Alarm clock 34
Storing phone numbers 64
Redirecting or forwarding calls to other numbers (e.g. to a landline) 8
Call waiting 15
Calendar/To-do list provided on the handset 9
Voicemail services 35
Using mobile phone, PDA or laptop together, to move files or to browse the Internet 3
None of these 17
Don't Know 1

Q6 Which of these, if any, do you think it is possible to do these days using a mobile phone or a mobile device? And which others? Base: All

Q7 Which of these, if any, would you like to be able to do now or in the future using a mobile phone or a mobile device? And which others? Base: All

  Q6 Q7
  % %
Exchange photographs or digital pictures with friends and family 60 24
Send and receive emails to/from friends and family 63 21
Receive information and special offers from local shops and services 35 13
Listen to full-length music albums on the mobile phone 30 16
Find out information about services in the location I am (e.g. the nearest petrol station, newsagent etc) 36 16
View a picture of a product/service before you buy 24 17
Watch and/or send videos on the mobile phone screen 21 14
Do your grocery shopping and have it delivered at a convenient time 30 16
Access Internet sites on the World Wide Web 55 15
Receive sports results or news information with colour pictures, sound and text to a mobile phone 53 12
Be able to have live message-based chat with one or more friends or family members (i.e. 'instant messaging') 40 14
Access travel timetables while on the move 37 18
Vote in General or Local elections 13 16
Booking and paying for tickets using a mobile phone 46 16
None of these 8 38
Don't Know 14 9

Picture messaging is a newly-available feature on some mobile phones which lets you take a colour picture using a tiny camera built-into or attached to the phone handset, and send it like a text message to other compatible mobile phones or email it to a PC.

Q8 Which of these on the list, if any, might you want to share with a friend or family member by sending or receiving a picture message? Base: All

  %
Birth of your child or child of a friend or family member 36
At a wedding 38
At a sporting event 19
While on holiday 45
Socialising/Going out 22
At an office party or work-related social event 10
Pictures of an intimate body part 4
While on a date or as a way of flirting with someone 6
While shopping 9
A good looking date 10
A friend or family member's partner being unfaithful 7
Other *
None of these 31
Don't Know 6

Q9 Which, if any, of the things on this list, have resulted from text messages you have sent or received? Base: Text messaging users aged 15-44 (1,416)

  %
Flirting by text message 35
A quick fling 9
A date with someone 22
An intimate encounter with someone 9
Start of a long-term relationship 14
An argument with someone 31
Marriage 1
End of a long-term relationship 9
Divorce or separation 2
   
None of these 47
Refused 1
Don't Know 1

Q10 Which of the terms on this list do you understand when thinking about mobile telephones? And which others? Base: All

  %
'WAP' (Wireless Application Protocol) 45
'GPRS' (General Packet Radio Service) 9
'SMS' (Short Message Service) 47
'MMS' (Multimedia Messaging Service) 14
'3G' (Third generation mobile phones) 17
'PDA' (Personal Digital Assistant) 11
'GSM' (Global System for Mobile communications) 20
'GPS' (Global Positioning System) 27
'HSCSD' (High Speed Circuit Switched Data) 4
None of these 34
Don't Know 4

Q11 Which two or three of the items on this list, if any, would your say are the most irritating or annoying things people do using mobile phones? Base: All

  %
Using the mobile phone whilst driving (without a hands-free kit) 63
Talking loudly on a mobile phone in a public place/on public transport 50
Using/playing with novelty ringtones 21
Playing noisy games on the handset 10
Using them in inappropriate places/at inappropriate times 36
Forgetting to turn them off in meetings/cinema/restaurant/ theatre 43
Letting their phone ring for a long period before answering 15
Sending rude or unwanted text messages 15
Other 1
None of these 4
Don't Know 2

Q12 Which items on this list, if any, do you personally do when using your mobile phone? Base: Mobile phone owners/users (2,724)

  %
Ask the person you have called if they are free to talk 32
Switch off your mobile phone when in meetings, or in cinema/restaurants/theatre 63
Switch your mobile phone off whilst driving 26
Choose a discreet ringtone 28
Leave a room/public area to make or receive a call 50
Speak in a quiet/normal voice when making a call in public 47
Keep calls in public places as short as possible 41
Sending a text message rather than calling late at night 40
Other *
None of these 9
Don't Know 1

Q13 In which of the ways listed on this card, if any, have you personalised or customised your mobile phone? And which others? Base: Mobile phone owners/users (2,724)

  %
Changed the original ringtone to another one within the mobile phone's memory 42
Downloaded a ringtone to the mobile phone 21
Downloaded an image to the mobile phone 10
Amended the welcome message or logo when the phone is switched on 24
Set up or changed the PIN number 28
Recorded a personal voicemail/answerphone greeting 21
Changed the fascia or mobile phone cover 20
None of these 37
Don't Know 1

Q14 Which of the statements on this card about mobile phones apply to you? And which others? Base: Mobile phone owners/users (2,724)

  %
I have customised and personalised my mobile phone so it reflects my personality and tastes 15
Calling people when I am travelling or waiting means that I can make better use of my free time 21
My mobile phone makes me feel safer and more secure 49
Mobile phones are useful in organising my social life 24
Calling people when I am travelling or waiting means that I talk to friends or family more often than I used to 19
I think of my mobile phone as a fashion item 5
I don't really care what my mobile phone looks like 43
I use my mobile phone for making or receiving voice calls only 17
I often use my mobile phone when I could easily use a fixed line at home, work or elsewhere 14
None of these 12
Don't Know 1

Q15 Which of these developments in mobile phone technology might help you make more effective use of your phone? And which others? Base: Mobile phone owners (2,688)

Q16 Which of the following developments in mobile phone technology might encourage you to get a mobile phone? And which others? Base: Non mobile phone owners (1,157)

  Q15 Q16
  % %
Larger screens 19 4
Colour screens 18 4
The ability to take photos and exchange them with other mobile phone users 19 5
Facility to order products and services, and have them delivered at a convenient time 14 4
Easy access information about the area I am in e.g. local garage, or local tourist information 25 5
More realistic sounding ringtones available 11 2
Easy access to the Internet 20 5
Pay for products and services using a mobile phone e.g. from vending machines 11 2
More advanced real-time multi-player games 5 2
An easy-to-use icon-based interface that is more like a PC to use 13 3
Don't know 6 7
None of these 35 76

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