Mobile phones becoming platform of choice for Internet

Mobile phones may soon challenge personal computers as the dominant platform for accessing the Internet, a recent survey quoted by an AFP report said.

The AFP report, citing a survey released by research firm Ipsos Insight, said 28% of mobile phone owners worldwide had browsed the Internet on a wireless handset, up from 25% at the end 2004.

This increase was due largely to participation by users above age 35, which analysts said suggested that the technology had gone mainstream, the report said.

The report said Japan was leading the growth, with 92% of mobile phone users having browsed the Internet or downloaded e-mail at least once a month on their phone in 2005.

About four out of 10 Japanese adults went online using their mobile phones this year, up 50% from 2003, the report said.

Next was Britain, where 29% used mobile phones for Internet, followed by the US and South Korea, each with 26%, the report said.

The survey, however, said US and Canadian markets for online mobile phone technology were flattening out, and pointed to the popularity of notebook PCs using wireless technology as the main out-of-home Internet platforms.