Cyberbiz Brief

A series of just released studies show Internet use continues to climb, wireless networks are poised to explode in use and broadband users account for nearly half of all Internet use — but interest in vidgames played on PCs is stagnant.

  • Marketing researchers Ipsos-Reid interviewed 6,600 adults in a dozen countries, about a third of them active Internet users. Nearly three-fourths of Americans now use the Net at least once a month, with usage handily outstripping previous growth as a large contingent of adult users finally began regularly going online this year.

    Study author Brian Cruikshank said the findings show the Net is becoming ingrained in many people’s daily lives, for everything from communications to commerce to entertainment. Canada was second in Internet use, although that level has remained largely unchanged the past two years. Hot spots for growth included South Korea, Japan, the U.K., Germany and France, as well as urban dwellers in the potentially vast markets of India and China.

  • According to Frost & Sullivan’s study of North American mobile Internet markets, revenues will total $2.7 billion this year but jump nine times by 2008 to $24.6 billion. Next-generation networks that can handle high-quality entertainment and other audio and video; faster, smarter devices; and “revolutionary” new kinds of uses will spur the growth, researchers said. The key will be tying “extraordinary content” to the new networks and devices to get consumers interested.

  • NPDTechworld said games played on computers saw only slight growth in the first 10 months of 2002, even as games for consoles from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft continue to sell heavily, even in the weak economy. Dollar sales were up 1.2% to $956 million, while unit sales of PC-based titles faltered 6.2% to 41.6 million units. That said, the holidays remain the biggest season for selling games of all kinds. Vidgame publishers may earn half their annual revenue in the last quarter of the year.
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