Gartner

Newsroom

STAMFORD, Conn., April 30, 2008 View All Press Releases

Gartner Survey Shows Consumers Predominantly Using the Internet for E-Mail and Search

13 to 18 Year Olds Show the Most Divergent Internet Interest From Playing Games Online to Social Networks

Despite the huge growth in new applications such as Internet video and social networking, most consumers indicate the main reason for accessing the Internet is to use e-mail and gather information, according to a survey by Gartner Inc.

The survey of 4,770 consumer Internet users in the fourth quarter of 2007 — which encompassed 18 countries, three regions, three educational levels and three income levels — found that the third Internet interest worldwide was online banking, with emerging markets being the only major exception.

Sharing photos, videos and files came in fourth, with all respondents worldwide ranking geographic navigation services — for example Google Earth — and shopping online as No 5 and No. 6 in importance, respectively.

However, Gartner found that there is one demographic group that is bucking the trend, with 13- to 18-year-olds enjoying the most divergent Internet interests, ranging from downloading music and playing games online to blogging and social networks.

“Rather than being considered as contrarians, this group should be regarded as the precursors of what is to come,” said Elroy Jopling, research director at Gartner. “The Internet has become a utility for most consumers, who use it for communicating, gathering information and performing financial transactions. However, a new ‘trickle down’ phenomenon, where teenagers lead the evolution of consumer Internet applications, heralds a new era where Internet applications will mimic life — communicating, entertaining, socializing, informing, transactional, either in a fixed location or on the move.”

Mr. Jopling said that the next Internet frontier will be mobile devices and that to succeed here, technology and service providers will need to incorporate the utilitarian applications of e-mail, search and geographical navigation services on all their fixed-line applications, as well as nimbly porting them to their mobile services. “Successful business plans will be those that are able to maximize utility on each of the mediums. The applications that teenagers spawn will require a similar fixed and mobile component,” he said.

However, Gartner predicts that few technology and service providers will be able to address every element of Internet applications and the need to partner with other providers will increase. Equally, the need to viably assess what market a provider can address with its brand and the agility of its infrastructure will become paramount.

Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Consumers' Value Perception of theInternet." The report is available on Gartner's Web site at http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?ref=g_search&id=639708&subref=simplesearch

Contacts
About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner in more than 14,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 6,100 associates, including more than 1,460 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.

Gartner Insight
Gartner Webinars