CNBC News Releases

Global business leaders unlock the potential of mobile technology

  • The unlocking of mobile capabilities could be the start of a new, technology renaissance, says CNBC
  • Weekday mornings are the most popular time for business executives to access news content on mobile
  • CEOs and business executives say they're now "extremely concerned" about issues of cyber security

With ownership of mobile devices reaching saturation point, it is now easier than ever to have news at your fingertips, and new research published by CNBC International today finds that 91 per cent of global executives have access to news and business content via their smartphone or tablet.

Mobile Elite - an annual CNBC survey tracking senior business executive's use of mobile devices across Europe, Asia and the US – finds that the variety and volume of news and business content consumed on mobile devices has increased across the board between 2014 and 2015, with access to 'news feeds' registering the highest growth for smartphones (45% to 60%).

Weekday mornings are the most popular time for 87 per cent of executives to access news content, with 71 percent drawn to accessing financial news and stock prices. Mobile has become such an intrinsic part of daily life that six in ten business leaders now reach for their smartphone as soon as they wake up.

While TV is still considered the main platform for accessing business news for just over half of global executives, the two are synonymous, with 'second-screening' playing a harmonious role. 75 per cent watch TV at the same time as using their mobile device and a growing proportion of business leaders (56% in 2014 to 62% in 2015) have followed up on their smartphone or tablet as a result of seeing content on TV.

Although smartphone hardware and software innovation appears to have slowed in 2015, the influence of mobile technology has increased both at the office and at home with almost four in ten global executives claiming to use their mobile device to operate appliances within the home. Furthermore, business leaders are becoming not only 'early adopters' but also 'early drivers' of technology advancements fuelled by mobile devices and wearables in particular: 54 per cent liked the idea of hands free technology, a trend set to spread far beyond connected audio visuals, smart thermostats and smart security systems.

Mike Jeanes, Director of Research, EMEA at CNBC said:

"With mobile saturation at an all-time high, we're now seeing business executives shifting their attentions towards a more connected lifestyle. With a slowdown in hardware innovation in 2015, the survey suggests that global executives are unlocking the potential of their technology to be more connected, more of the time. We could be witnessing the start of the next mobile renaissance."

The influence of mobile technology has and will continue to explode in to sectors such as fashion, health and fitness, and travel, but one area that is looking increasingly important is retail and payment systems. CNBC found business executives are on the lookout for alternative ways to pay quickly and efficiently, and almost three quarters of those surveyed (74%) agree that systems including Apple Pay and other digital wallet offerings are the future for e-commerce.

With cyber security front of mind in the wake of highly publicised cyber-hacks such as Sony, and more recently Talk Talk, CEOs and business executives are now "extremely concerned" about issues of cyber security. 82 per cent of business leaders agree that mobile data privacy and security is a concern, with 41 per cent believing that it is the most important technological influencer for 2016, followed by cloud technology (35%) and mobile e-commerce (34%).

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Whiteacre, Communications Executive, CNBC EMEA

D: +44 (0)20 3618 7121

The full white paper can be viewed online here.

The #MobileElite infographic is available here.

About CNBC:

CNBC is the leading global broadcaster of live business and financial news and information, reporting directly from the major financial markets around the globe with three regional networks including CNBC in Asia, CNBC in EMEA and CNBC in the US. is the preeminent financial news source on the web, featuring an unprecedented amount of video, real-time market analysis, web-exclusive live video and analytical financial tools. CNBC is dedicated to CEOs, senior corporate executives; the financial services industry and private investors. The channel is available in more than 370 million homes worldwide. CNBC is a division of NBCUniversal.

About Mobile Elite:

First commissioned in 2010, Mobile Elite 2015 is the sixth wave in a series of surveys among business executives tracking the impact of the mobile revolution on their personal and working lives. The survey covers Europe, Asia and the US capturing over 500 online interviews across the regions. Independent research agency MindMover managed the survey in Europe and the US, and GMI in Asia. Mobile Elite 2015 collates the data into a single global dataset, enabling regional profiling comparisons against a global average.