Once exclusive to corporate bigwigs, mobile e-mail is gaining broader acceptance among business professionals in the lower leagues.
A survey polling mobile business executives from the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States revealed that mobile e-mail uptake among these professionals could peak as high as 70 percent by year-end. The survey was part of a study commissioned by e-mail vendor Visto to identify key drivers for mobile e-mail adoption.
According to the study, new users were drawn to mobile e-mail because of the lower prices and wider handset support.
Of those surveyed by Visto, 60 percent admitted that their attitude toward mobile e-mail had changed over the past year. While 40 percent of those surveyed were currently using mobile e-mail, half of those had begun to in the last year, and a further 30 percent believed they would begin to use the service in the next three to 12 months.
"The research confirms what we've seen in the market over the last 12 months," said Doug Brackbill, chief marketing officer at Visto, in a media statement. "We have reached the point where all the right elements are finally in place--the devices, compelling carrier offerings and a mobile e-mail service that is as easy to use as the handset itself."
Visto's study identified choice as the overriding factor behind the surge in uptake. A majority of respondents in the study said they found mobile e-mail increasingly attractive as a tool for managing both their work and personal commitments.
Of those currently using mobile e-mail, 31 percent were attracted by the ability to get work and personal e-mail on one mobile phone, while greater device choice at a lower cost influenced more than 25 percent respondents. Only 15 percent said they were doing so because they had been instructed by their company.
A further 29 percent said that mobile e-mail had simply become a necessity in their lives.
According to analyst house Informa, the total number of mobile e-mail users is estimated to grow threefold between now and 2011, to almost 212 million worldwide. It also projected that revenues from mobile office applications, which include mobile e-mail, PIM (personal information management) and intranet access, are expected to reach US$22.8 billion by 2011.