Mobile users demand better batteries

Survey: Longer battery life is rated as more important than entertainment features like music and TV, say mobile device users

Mobile TV and MP3 players are all very well, according to mobile phone users, but longer battery life is top of their feature wish-list.

A survey of global mobile users by research firm TNS found that two-thirds of phone and PDA owners said the most essential feature for a converged device is a two-day battery life span.

Consumers' love of long battery life also means they are currently reluctant to use power-hungry media applications such as games, the research found — a concern for mobile operators keen to drive use of data services.

Tacis Gavoyannis, head of technology at TNS, said consumers really want to be able to travel with a phone or PDA for a couple of days without needing to pack a charger — and they're prepared to sacrifice playing music and the like to do it.

"It indicates where people's interest lies," he said. "[A mobile] is useless at the end of the day if it can't do what it's designed for.".

Even in advanced markets in the Asia-Pacific region, where consumers are already comfortable with such mobile tech as 3G and mobile TV, there is still a proportion of phone owners who shun data services.

Gavoyannis said: "They need to understand how it works, how the pricing works and they need some education. But in some markets the technology doesn't make it easy."

High resolution cameras and video phones were also ranked as an "important" feature for more than half of those questioned, with 46 percent saying they now use MMS and 23 percent revealing they send audio or video clips.