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Gartner slams 3G navel gazing

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The mobile industry is forgetting consumers in its obsession with debts, doubts and delays surrounding third generation mobile phones.

Adam Daum, VP and Chief Analyst at GartnerG2 (Gartner's research arm), said "the industry has been too obsessed with 3G technology to the detriment of the needs of consumers.

"The vast majority of consumers don't know what their phones are capable of today, let alone what 3G is and why they should have it. It does not matter how good 3G is if nobody knows or understands what they can do with it."

Daum, who was speaking at Gartner/IT Expo this week, also criticised the industry for failing to create a "vibrant market" for mobile data services. The mobile industry for failing to explain what 3G will deliver. This will make it harder to persuade people to upgrade their mobile phones to 3G next year, he said. Gartner urges companies not to wait for 3G, but to start delivering services with existing technologies.

Daum made his comments during the Gartner Symposium/Itxpo conference taking place in Cannes, France this week.

According to Gartner research, 62 per cent of all adults across major European countries now use a mobile phone. Four in ten (41 per cent) use SMS, compared to 30 per cent who use the Internet.

Last year, 28 per cent used SMS compared to 29 per cent who used the Internet. Used responsibly, SMS can therefore become a powerful marketing tool, Gartner reckons.

From the consumers' perspective, we wonder if more commercial SMS messages would be a good thing. Also its worth pointing out that more people may be reached by marketing messages sent by mobile phones, but email is easier and much, much cheaper. ®

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