Camera functionality, Bluetooth connectivity and audio playback are all now "must-have" features for mobile phone owners, according to new research.
An ABI Research survey of 1,402 wireless subscribers in seven countries found that 47 per cent of consumers demand a phone with at least a 2-megapixel camera.
This was followed by Bluetooth at 34 per cent of respondents and music/FM radio functionality at 32 per cent.
Clint Wheelock, vice president and chief research officer at ABI, said: "Our survey identified some surprising differences between markets.
"Cameraphones, for example, were more than twice as important for consumers in Taiwan versus those in the US.
"Similarly, Bluetooth is considered essential by mobile subscribers in Western Europe and Taiwan, but penetration of this feature is very low in Japan and South Korea so it is of little importance to consumers in those countries."
However, Wheelock added that it is still a "voice-centric world", and that consumers across all mature markets still choose their mobile operator based on price, friends/family on the same network and network coverage.
Games and internet access emerged as high on the list of features that subscribers have on their phones but rarely or never use.
"Many mobile data and multimedia services are failing to reach the mainstream not because they are unavailable, but because they fail to provide a satisfactory user experience and pricing model for most consumers," said Wheelock.
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