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Tuesday, 28 November, 2000, 03:14 GMT
Surfers slow to warm to Wap
Internet cafe
Internet users still prefer PCs to Wap phones
More than 14 million Britons say they are dependent on their mobile phones, but take-up for Wap technology remains slow, a survey has revealed.

The research found that although nine million people in Britain say they will never use a PC, 15 million are already connected to the internet at home and by the middle of 2001 that could rise to 23 million.

But the Egg report - Embracing Technology, commissioned by Mori for internet bank and financial services company Egg, found that only 2% of the population own a Wap (Wireless Application Protocol) phone.

The phones let you browse the web on the go in a limited way but a majority of people are unclear as to what Wap actually means.

Shopping and Banking

The report shows that as well as our continuing love affair with the mobile, the internet is having an increasingly noticeable impact on our day-to-day lives, with a third of people shopping online and four-and-a-half million people banking on the internet.

Motorola's Timeport P7389e WAP e-commerce phone
Advanced Wap phones are still not common
Over the next four to five years, some 10 million say they will depend on new technology for shopping and 14 million for banking.

Two thirds of us say mobiles, digital TV and PCs have become part of our everyday lives and penetration of digital TV has reached nine million.

Use of technology still has a practical bent with 51% saying they want new technology - but only if it directly helps to make life easier.

And although 18 million people use a PC or laptop for personal use, the majority (61%) use them only for traditional word processing.

Life's chores

But the survey revealed that Britain still has its share of technophobes, with 29 million adults not using a PC and nine million saying they never will.

The evidence in this report shows that we are on the verge of an explosion of new technologies

Mike Harris
Egg chief executive
Some respondents admitted they would not object to voting online at the next election.

Mike Harris, chief executive of Egg, said: "It is clear to us that while many people have embraced new technology, it is still not being used to its full potential.

"The evidence in this report shows, however, that we are on the verge of an explosion of new technologies in the UK and the speed of adoption is likely to be rapid."

Stewart Lewis, director of Mori, said: "Most people aren't interested in technology for technology's sake, but our research confirms that people are very interested in technologies that make life's inescapable chores easier, help them increase their leisure time and get the most out of it."

Researchers who compiled the survey conducted 2,029 face-to-face interviews with adults aged 16+ across Britain between 12 August - 5 September 2000.

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