The Australian smartphone love affair
by Keris Lahiff
Take a backseat, computer. The smartphone is now front and centre, as demand for smartphone technology booms. Telstra’s 2011 Smartphone Index reports Australians are using their smartphones with rampant fervor.
“It’s clear smartphones are becoming an inseparable part of our lives, with Telstra’s research indicating they now help us to shop smarter, connect with our social networks and kill boredom during business meetings,” says Rebekah O’Flaherty, Telstra consumer executive director.
What and where?
According to the Index, 46 per cent of Australian mobile phone owners now have a smartphone, an increase from 31 per cent last year. This is expected to skyrocket to more than 60 per cent over the next twelve months.
And don’t think smartphone use is strictly an iPhone affair. Android smartphone popularity has increased five per cent since last year, with 24 per cent of smartphone users now owning an Android.
Looking at demographics, those aged over 40 are embracing the technology increasingly – 39 per cent are more than 40-years-old, and 20 per cent over 50.
Compared to PC use, one in four smartphone users access social networking sites and one in five search the web more so on their mobiles than on a computer.
Interestingly, smartphones aren’t solely being used while the user is mobile – almost half of Aussies access the web on their smartphone at home, while 14 per cent do so while commuting and eight per cent while at the office. Even closer to home, 56 per cent admit they use their smartphone in bed, up from 51 per cent in 2010.
And, with more and more tablet computers on the market, it would seem smartphone users are among the early adopters. Smartphone users are almost twice as likely to own a mobile tablet. In fact, one in five already own a tablet device, such as an iPad or Motorola XOOM.
It’s clear we love our smartphones but how exactly are we spending our time? Well, according to Telstra, four in ten smartphone users access social networking sites daily, up from 31 per cent last year.
“It’s also clear we love our apps. Almost one in four smartphone web-surfers have downloaded more than 20 free apps. Social network apps and games are rated ‘most useful’ followed by weather, transport, maps, banking and health-related apps,” says Flaherty.
We’re also increasingly use our phones to get a good deal, with almost half of users researching a purchase or service on their phone before buying. And, one-quarter of savvy consumers price check items while they are actually in the shop.
But that’s not the only place we are using our smartphones.
- During meetings – 40 per cent of smartphone users say they’ve used their phones during a business meeting to pass the time.
- In social situations – 40 per cent of users admit they have used their phone to avoid a social encounter (12 per cent even admit they were just pretending to use it).
- While driving – 17 per cent of motorists say they have illegally used the internet on their smartphone while driving.
- On the toilet – one-third of users say they have accessed the web on their smartphone while on the toilet.
Published on: Thursday, July 14, 2011