Mobile users in France and the UK show a clear preference for using mobile browsers to access the Internet rather than apps, according to the latest market research conducted by Orange.
For the first time the Orange and TNS annual Mobile Exposure study was conducted across the operator's European footprint with the key finding that mobile browsers were much more popular with users in mature markets.
The research revealed that seven in 10 mobile media users in the UK preferred using a browser to access the web, whereas in Poland 45 per cent of mobile media users favoured apps.
"In less mature markets, such as Spain or Poland, apps are still driving a lot of the usage," said Bruce Hoang, Orange Group's international head of media research. "However, in more mature markets, such as France and the UK, browsers are more popular."
Of particular note was that the cost of mobile browsing was becoming less of a barrier. Orange claimed that only 13 per cent of UK respondents said they didn't use mobile media because they thought it was too expensive.
"We believe this is a trend to watch as smartphone penetration increases and handset prices fall," said Luc Tran Thang, VP of Orange's advertising business.
The research also highlighted that email was becoming more accepted by mobile media users than social networking across all European markets surveyed. In the UK, 60 per cent of respondents said they used their phones for email, compared with 44 per cent who used it for social media. 39 per cent said they used LBS and 32 per cent used IM applications.
Orange said that the research, which surveyed 2,000 mobile media users in the UK, France, Spain and Poland, used its new media planning tool Orange Mobile Targeting Monitor, which helps brands plan mobile campaigns and reach audiences on mobile.
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