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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

News from NET and COM '99

  • Most PDAs, Other Mobile Terminals Only for Private Use
  • February 8, 1999 (TOKYO) — First-time buyers of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and similar mobile palmtop electronic terminals tend to use their devices for private purposes rather than for business.
    This trend was revealed by a survey on mobile information terminal usage conducted by Nikkei Market Access.

    The survey was conducted via questionnaire cards inserted in the December 1998 issue of Nikkei Mobile. Some 2,070 readers returned cards. Among them, 1,266 respondents owned mobile terminals as of December 1998, and those respondents together with business users totaled 1,433, according to Nikkei Mobile.

    Most of the users who have owned such devices for more than three years tend to utilize their devices for both business and personal applications. Those using the devices for private purposes accounted for 27.7 percent. On the other hand, among the new users (those with less than a year of owning a device), 58.0 percent said that they utilize their terminals exclusively for private purposes.

    A majority of those who use mobile terminals had utilized personal computers. However, the December survey indicates that the circumstances are changing.

    Regardless of whether the terminals are mainly utilized for business or personal reasons, users say that email and “personal information management” are the two major applications of such mobile gear. These two features are preferred over others (by more than 20 percentage points). An earlier survey was conducted a year earlier.

    The email features are rated more valuable as compared with the personal information management capabilities, according to the survey. New users said that their primary intention for buying a mobile terminal is to send and receive email messages.

    Almost half of the users with less than a year of ownership place a great value on the email functions. Those who have owned such terminals for more than three years place less of a value on email (by 20 percentage points), according to the survey.

    On the other hand, those who have owned such terminals for longer periods tend to value basic performance characteristics, such as operating periods, operability and transaction speeds.

    (Nikkei Market Access)

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