M-commerce off the pace in Oz

Mobile commerce has a long way to go before it achieves wide acceptance by Australian Internet users, according to a survey by Taylor Nelson Sofres Interactive.

The survey found although mobile phone, Internet and PC penetration is quite high in Australia, there is a lower than average wireless application protocol (WAP) penetration (4 per cent), compared with Japan at 44 per cent.

Additionally, the likelihood of Australians buying a WAP-enabled mobile phone within the next 12 months rated only 7 per cent, compared with Japan at 26 per cent.

Martin James, managing director for TNS Australia said it was quite concerning that WAP phones have not taken off in Australia to the same extent as in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"However, technological advances made via broadband services will certainly help to speed up Internet access via mobile phones, especially with the introduction of GPRS and 3G technology," James said.

"The main obstacle [to m-commerce acceptance] is that most WAP phone owners do not perceive it as a tool for accessing the Internet. Therefore, opportunities for m-commerce to benefit from e-commerce are still comparatively low."

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