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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 3, 2006 at 11:50 AM

Wireless experts know best

As the wireless industry rapidly rolls out over-the-air music downloads, mobile TV and other new services, it’s always worth taking a step back to see if anyone is watching, or more to the point, paying for it.

At yesterday’s RBC Capital Markets’ Mobility Evolution Conference in New York, where institutional investors, content providers, research analysts and advertisers converged, the gap between experts and consumers was clear.

In an informal RBC survey of 100 mobility experts during the conference, the experts’ views differed sharply from a survey of consumers RBC released earlier in the week..

The brokerage house said that while 63 percent of experts believed consumers wanted to watch TV or movies on their mobile devices, only 23 percent of consumers expressed an interest. In addition, 72 percent of experts thought consumers would tolerate advertising on their devices if it lowered costs; in the consumer survey, only 20 percent said they would.

“This discrepancy is likely due to the fact that we are in the early stages of an evolution in mobility,” said Scott Collins, RBC Capital Market’s director of U.S. Equity Research in a statement. “With single-purpose products disappearing as functionality converges, consumers are resisting making a choice. But our research shows that in time, mobility will be adopted widely. The mobility evolution has begun.”

The experts said any discrepency wouldn’t slow growth in the industry. They predicted that the past five years of 20 percent annual growth in mobile technology would continue for the next five years.

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