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Mobile commerce sales won't match hype

M-commerce and interactive TV will struggle

New mobile technology devices such as mobile telephones, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and interactive television will not deliver significant business to retailers in Europe, Forrester Research said this morning in a statement.

The limitations of the devices themselves will keep their stake in total online retail to just 19 percent, or £20.5 billion in 2005, Forrester said in a statement.

Therefore, the study, entitled "Driving Retail With Devices," concludes that retailers should use mobile commerce devices for promotional purposes, rather than for retail transactions.

According to Forrester, mobile telephones will only make up 3 percent of total online retail by 2005. Mobile phone transactions will mainly be used for buying such products as flowers and movie tickets, Forrester said.

Poor resolution will in part keep online purchases over interactive television down to 16 percent of the total.

Users will continue to see television as a form of passive entertainment, rather than an interactive forum, Forrester said.

As for PDA's, the first wireless models are not expected to hit the European markets until 2001, and even then Europeans will prefer their Internet-enabled mobile phones at a ratio of 150-to-1 by 2005, the report found.

PDAs can look forward to garnering less than one-tenth of 1 percent of online retail sales, Forrester said.

The PC will continue to dominate online retail, creating a market worth 141 billion euros in 2005 and accounting for 80 percent of online retail sales, Forrester said. In the same year, the PC will have a household penetration of 50 percent throughout Europe, the study found.

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