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Study Highlights Eight Trends Defining the Future of Wireless

(September 04, 2001)
Cheskin, a leading market research and consulting firm has just released its newest study on technology trends. "The Wireless Future -- A Look At Youth Unplugged," looks at wireless communication and mobile technology behaviors and attitudes of young people from 13 to 24. The significance of the study lies in specific product and application development recommendations, and the identification of eight future wireless trends.

The 44-page report includes the results of a quantitative survey in addition to insights from experts in the wireless, mobile device, digital communications, and gaming industries. The findings from the study will be presented September 7 at DEMOmobile 2001, a conference focusing on the companies, issues and products that will change the face of mobile and wireless technology through 2002. More information on the study, a list of trends, and the full report are available at www.cheskin.com/think/studies/wireless.html .


Amy Francetic, wireless consultant at Cheskin and former CEO of Zowie Intertainment, is one of the primary authors of the report. "Carriers have spent so much capital acquiring spectrum for 2.5 and 3G networks that they now need to think strategically about how to grow their business," explains Francetic. "Understanding consumer behavior, in particular the youth market who can be a bellwether for the mass market, is crucial to predicting what will drive users to upgrade their phones to take advantage of these high-capacity networks."

The foundation of the report is an online quantitative survey of over 1000 respondents between the ages of 13 and 24, drawn from a general market panel supplied by Survey Sampling Inc. Survey questions probed various technology communication behaviors as well as attitudes toward wireless and mobile devices and technologies. Over a dozen experts from wireless application, device, and carrier companies, and mobile entertainment companies were interviewed on their views on industry trends and emerging products. Eight predictive trends in the wireless industry emerged from the research. A partial list includes:

-- Social connectivity and entertainment will be the primary defining characteristics of wireless devices.

-- Young people will build relationships via wireless devices.

-- Wireless entertainment and information applications will become favored "gap-fillers."

-- Strategic convergence will define the most successful wireless devices.

Entertainment will drive the development of wireless cross-platform content.

"Wireless has swept the global culture with radio, TV, and cellular. Wireless data is next. One of the big questions is what will people do with it?" states Davis Masten, Principal and co-founder of Cheskin. "Youth adapt to the new technologies as just another part of their world. By understanding wireless youth, product developers and service providers have an edge in developing the next generation of applications and devices."

"With virtually all digital technologies, kids are focused on the quality of the experience, there's a cache associated with this," explains Dan Williams, Director for Corporate Strategic Design at Motorola. "They like the icon, the showiness of the MP3 player, cell phone, or game. There is a strong personal attachment to the device itself, the status of the device. It's all about finding the right integration of function, interface and design that resonates with this market."

Cheskin is a strategic research and consulting firm with an unparalleled history in marketing and design research. They recognize that innovation and success rests on an in-depth understanding of people. Cheskin's core belief is that authenticity, meaning, and relevance inspire trust resulting in lasting customer relationships. These philosophies have been the basis of work for much of the Fortune 500, from media and technology to packaged goods and professional services. Over the past 50 years, Cheskin's contribution to major national accounts has enriched expertise in brand strategy, positioning, product development, multicultural markets, and futures scenarios. With a diverse multilingual staff representing over 20 different countries and cultures, Cheskin is highly regarded for their ability to see patterns and deeper meanings, and to look forward and anticipate change. More information can be found at www.cheskin.com.

Survey Sampling, Inc. (SSI), headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, is a leading provider of samples to the market research industry. Founded in 1977, the company offers a wide range of sampling products, from random digit telephone samples to targeted mail, telephone, and e-mail sample for the North American and European markets. SSI's clients include the leading political pollsters, packaged goods companies, universities, advertising agencies and print media in North America and Europe.

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