Americans: Addicted to Mobile Email


I confess I have checked email on my iPhone-Nokia E61i-Blackberry while in the bathroom, crossing the street and during dinner at a busy restaurant. I used to think that with my email addiction, I was an extreme case, an email addict of the worse kind. Apparently, I am not alone.

wirelessemail.jpgA survey conducted by AOL shows that checking email on the portable devices has doubled since 2004. Americans who carry a mobile email device have some really strange addictions:

* 59% are checking email in bed
* 53% in the bathroom
* 37% are checking email while they drive.

The survey reveals that 43% of email users check their email first thing in the morning, and 40% have checked their email in the middle of the night. An average email user checks mail about five times a day. Nearly 83% of Americans check email while on vacation.


If mobile email is an addiction, one has to say the biggest dealer in town is RIM, whose Blackberry is the device of choice for many of us, though lately other devices and solutions such as Good Technology (a division of Motorola) have started to gain some traction.

According to The Radicati Group, a consulting and research firm based in Palo Alto, Calif., globally the wireless E-mail Market, which is forecast to grow from $6 billion in 2007 to nearly $25 billion in 2011. (PDF)




Teleflip is free, but it spams your friends – if you put their names into your exclusive sender list (tried it, got s**t for it from a couple of buddies) – and it leaves you out in the cold with navigation fees. Going from link to link costs you.

Meemo isn’t free – but it offers privacy, works with 95-100% of cell phone models, and the 5$ that you get charged a month covers all navigation costs. The e-mail from the phone is also unlimited.

Do some research – dude – and you’ll figure out where the value in this market is, outside of PDA’s. Also: since when did surfers become avid blog posters on tech-related sites?

Victor Blake

Ben — Whether or not you like AOL it is still the largest single email operator in the US. So their stats on email use do mean something.

One other thing — all the Windows Mobile implementations (or at least all of the ones I have seen) support IMAP and POP clients to get email from your ISP (including AOL, MSN/Hotmail, or other ISPs). This allows one phone to sync several emails (I sync 3 of them personally).



I live in Finland and bike to work. Not just checking, but typing while on a moving bicycle on a path full of other moving bicycles is one of the nearly stupidest things I have seen. I am just waiting to see someone smack into a tree or signpost. That will cure the addiction.


Ah, AOL–it’s right up there, in terms of academic merit and rigour, with Harvard, MIT and Oxford.


checking email on the beach between surf sessions makes sense — hey, at least it’s not in the middle of the night! and (oh, I can’t believe I’m saying this) people will think you’re working…

but skip the Blackberry and put the money towards a new board –the Teleflip service is free (unlike Meemo)

surf on,


Also note anything with the word AOL – 100% unbelievable. I wonder how AOL is shelling out all this money to do research, it’s the biggest junk mother of all and it’s still alive! Geez I need a break.


It’s not surprising that this is such a hot market. With Push technology, there is no reason why average consumers shouldn’t get on board with mobile email.

This recent article in the Wall Street Journal also provides an interesting perspective –

In Asia, the mobile email market has taken an interesting turn. SingTel is now offering free data services to its MobileM@il users (MobileM@il is based on Push email technology from Consilient) who are willing to receive sponsored messages. Companies such as Pizza Hut, KFC and others have signed on as advertisers for the service and are essentially footing the bill for the data charges that mobile email subscribers would incur…. talk about finding interesting ways to spur mobile email usage.


if you’re gonna check your stupid email (or talk on your stupid phone, for that matter) while on city sidewalks, please step aside so those of us who actually want to WALK (hence the name – sidewalks – get it???) are free to go on our merry way. If you’re texting, don’t be walking – not to mention driving, shudder… You might even find it’s nice to observe and reflect upon the world around you. I used to like doing that until it was invaded by gadget-obsessed freaks polluting the air with their conversations and impeding my ability to be a pedestrian.

Whew. Thanks.


Lalit, check out meemo. It’s a push email service that works on any phone. Uses text messaging for alerts and one click from the message takes you to the inbox on your phone. It’s also about 1/4 the price of BlackBerry service.


I also thought that I was a weirdo checking email in the bathroom. Good to know that I’m not alone…

francine hardaway

I thought I was alone in checking email from the bathroom sink at conferences. And in restaurants. That’s one reason I liked the Blackberry better than my iPhone; it was less obvious when I did it. That big lit screen is a dead giveaway, especially in a movie.


Imagine if E-mail is available to any mobile, not just the blackberries. It’s a whole new market waiting to be explored.

Paul J

I’m not American but even I know that in your map you’ve got Atlanta in Alabama, Washington in Delaware, and Seattle in Spokane. Check Google Maps on your wireless handheld. ;)

Back to the point of your article though, I sometimes get panic attacks if I forget to bring my blackberry with while away from a computer.


I wonder if I’m the only one who DREADS checking their e-mail? Checking it on a mobile device? No way, I’d rather not check it at all.

Comments are closed.