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Do Not Disturb says Yahoo! research on in flight mobile usage
Posted on 22-May-2008 09:17. | Tags Filed under: News.

Nearly three out of four consumers in the U.S. agree that mobile phone usage on airplanes should be restricted to silent features only, according to a new survey commissioned by Yahoo! Inc. and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The survey demonstrates that U.S. consumers today view their mobile phone as more than just a phone, but as a computer in their pocket with a wide variety of features. Consumers surveyed support the ability to access mobile phone features like e-mail, SMS and instant messaging (IM) while in-flight, but made clear their preference for no talking.

"There is an increasing debate about the use of mobile phones on airplanes," said Bruce Stewart, vice president and general manager, Connected Life Americas, Yahoo!. "This new survey overwhelmingly proves the desire of consumers to stay connected to the people, information, interests and passions that are important to them while in-flight, but they don't want to be forced to listen to the conversation of the passenger sitting next to them."

Across the U.S.A., but especially in the West (83%), most consumers agree that mobile phone usage on planes should be restricted to non-talking features only.

More than half of consumers (60 percent) would want to use silent features while flying on an airplane such as SMS (38%), access e-mail (28 percent) or play games (29 percent).

Of course age impacts consumers' mobile phone service preferences while in flight with 43% of 35-44 year olds wanting to want to check e-mail on their mobile, while 62% of 18-34 year olds would rather use SMS and 29 percent would want to instant message (IM).

If usage of mobile phones was allowed while in-flight, more than two out of three (69 percent) consumers agreed that there should be a designated area of an airplane for passengers who want to talk on their mobile phones. In fact, older consumers (76 percent) and women (73 percent) are more likely to agree than their younger (64 percent) and male (64 percent) counterparts.

The Mobile Phone Usage survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yahoo! Mobile between 29th April and 1st May 2008 among 2,030 adults ages 18+, of whom, 1,778 are mobile phone owners who have ever flown in an airplane.

Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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