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I call bullshit. But if it helps the industry to get off the stick and start building compelling services, it might do us some good to puff up these numbers for a while. I think their interpretation of what constitutes a “user” is fairly liberal.

-Ian.

—– http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020828/tc_nm/ telecoms_wireless_dc

Technology – Reuters U.S. Wireless Internet Users Reach 10 Million Wed Aug 28,12:05 PM ET

RESTON, Va. (Reuters) – Nearly 10 million active Internet users in the United States check e-mail or surf the Web for news or local services via mobile phones and handheld computers, a research group said on Wednesday.

ComScore Media Metrix, best known for its monthly surveys of most-popular Web sites, said it found that 5 million of the 19.1 million users of handheld computers and 5.8 million of the 67.2 million U.S. mobile users have wireless Internet access.

Dual use of both wireless Internet phones and handheld computers by some consumers shrinks the absolute number of U.S. wireless Internet users to 9.9 million, the market research group said of its initial effort to survey the extent of wireless Internet use in the United States. The 9.9 million figure represents 11 percent of U.S. wireless users.

Males make up 72 percent (6.5 million) of wireless Internet users, compared with overall Internet usage, where 48 percent are men and 52 percent are women, according to comScore’s studies of adult Internet use.

“Although wireless Internet usage is still in its relative infancy, these data prove there already is a significant wireless Web audience,” said Peter Daboll, president of the comScore Media Metrix Internet measurement unit.

“While there are more Internet users with cell phones, a much higher proportion of PDA owners report using those devices to go online,” he said in a statement summarizing the results.

The survey also found that 53 percent of online wireless users are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 42 percent are between 35 and 54. Just 4 percent of people over age 55 have joined the trend.

The figures again contrast with general Internet usage via computer, television and other outlets, where 40 percent of Internet users are between 18 and 34, 46 percent are between 35 and 54 and 14 percent are 55 and older, comScore said.

The survey was conducted among its group of 60,000 active Internet users aged over 18. Participants in the survey were asked what devices they carried with them and specifically whether they used these devices to access the Internet.

Wireless Internet devices counted in the survey include mobile phones with built-in Internet browsers, handheld electronic organizers running Palm, Microsoft or Linux ( news – web sites) software, and also some of the newer Blackberry e-mail pagers.

The company said the survey was the first in a planned quarterly survey of wireless Internet usage among its group of personal computer users. It is studying ways that it could eventually track actual mobile phone usage, a spokesman said.

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