What's a Phone Good for Around the World?

From Middle East to Latin America, How Mobile Is Being Used

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- It's fast becoming a multimedia device, good not just for surfing the web but also for playing games and watching TV. According to Nielsen's Emerging Digital Trends Report, three in 10 internet users from around the globe access the net from their phones. That behavior is most prominent in the Asia-Pacific region, where 71% of internet users have logged on from their phones in the last 30 days. That's followed by 68% in Middle East-Africa-Pakistan (MEAP), 46% in Latin America, 37% in Europe and 34% in North America.

Nielsen reports that when it comes to watching video on mobile phones, one in five have tried it out. Middle-East-Africa-Pakistan comes in the highest for video-over-the-phone at 72%, followed by Asia-Pacific at 70%. Thirty percent of North Americans lay claim to watching mobile video from their phone, as do 36% of Europeans and 57% of Latin Americans. And video on non-phone handheld devices, such as the iPod Touch or Portable PlayStation, follows the same trend-line, having the highest penetration in Asia-Pacific and MEAP.

But what about when it comes to just making calls? The region least likely to use a landline and most likely to use a mobile phone is Asia-Pacific, followed by MEAP. In the Asia-Pacific region, 83% of people primarily use a mobile phone, while 16% use a landline; in MEAP, it's a 75%-to-17% rate of mobile-to-landline usage. Sixty-three percent of Latin Americans grab the mobile phone first, compared to 57% of Europeans; when it comes to using the landline those figures total 33% and 37%, respectively. And North Americans are the ones most likely to still use a landline: 40% say they primarily make calls from a wired line while 56% of North Americans primarily reach for the cellphone.

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