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Signs of Life?

You'll need plenty of patience to profit from m-commerce.

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) may be a needle in the haystackof telecommunications and commerce, but it's gettingbigger--slowly. The vision for m-commerce looked like this:consumers dialing up to order books and merchandise, the Web onevery phone, and restaurant coupons beaming out to buyers."The hype curve was way ahead of market reality," saysSeamus McAteer, senior analyst with San Francisco research firmZelosGroup.

The real opportunities in m-commerce aren't where we thoughtthey'd be a few years ago, and a lot of that has to do with theway American consumers buy products over the Internet."You're dealing with a research-driven purchaser. Cellphones are about instant gratification and making a socialstatement. They're not an ideal device for research," saysMcAteer. People don't want to buy merchandise with their cellphones.

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