Surveys in press releases tend to reinforce the message of the company that mentions them. That’s why we see news stories from speech software companies that say consumers want speech software. It’s also why Smobile Systems published a press release last week that said one in 63 of Symbian-powered smartphones are infected with some kind of malware, such as a virus, a worm or something else unpleasant and/or unwanted.
The reality, however, is that the one in 63 (around 1.5%) figure is something of a worst case – and (rather like the mobile broadband comparison we mentioned in our podcast a couple of weeks ago) involved people who were likely to be actively checking for the possibility of malware because they had evidence it might already exist on their handsets. [Sources: Original press release via PRNewsWire; Symbian.org; TheRegister.co.uk]