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A fifth of wireless Americans want an all-in-one device

Chris Ziegler

We'd like to believe the writing's been on the wall for true, classic dumbphones for a helluva long time now, and new survey stats are suggesting that the trend is moving in that direction -- though admittedly not quite at the brisk pace we'd prefer. An NPD Group survey found that fully 20 percent of American mobile users "prefer" to use their phones for browsing and multimedia in addition to making calls, which is a pretty strong statement from a RAZR-using that was totally unaware that wireless data even existed just a couple years ago. Going forward, the big hurdle carriers face is knowledge -- or lack thereof -- with fewer than 35 percent of consumers knowing whether their current models have expandable memory, GPS, WiFi, video, or music capability. As NPD points out, the way to drive revenue in a tough economy might be to help subscribers simply realize that their phones can do more than they realize, which turns into a few extra bucks of ARPU... 'course, cool phone lineups always help, too.

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