Not just for talking, smartphones are hubs: survey

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 September, 2013, 11:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 September, 2013, 11:00am

For US smartphone users, talking is old hat.

A new survey shows Americans spend an average of nearly two hours a day -- 114 minutes -- on their smartphones, including just 23 minutes talking.

Phone calls were the largest single activity for smartphone users, they also spend an average 20 minutes texting, 18 minutes on email, 16 minutes visiting websites and 11 minutes on social networks.

“The degree to which consumers use their smartphones primarily as data information hubs, mostly forgoing devices’ traditional purpose, is significant,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association, which commissioned the survey.

“Smartphones have become the viewfinder of our digital life. How smartphone utilization evolves has incredible implications moving forward.”

The survey found 66 per cent of online US consumers indicated they own a smartphone as of August this year, and nearly half (45 per cent) of all consumers planned to purchase one within the next 12 months.

Among those lacking a smartphone, 61 per cent expect to purchase one at some point in the future.

“With growing ownership rates, it should be expected that the beginning signs of market saturation may appear within the next couple of years,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst at CEA.

“Yet, the near-term outlook for consumer purchase and upgrade intent remains bright for these devices, a positive sign that the smartphone market will continue to grow with new owners through next year.”

Three-quarters of smartphone owners indicated they used weather apps, making them the most popular type of application used with smartphones.

Some 60 per cent used social networking apps, while 57 per cent used games, 55 per cent utilized video apps and 55 per cent navigation.

The CEA survey also found 53 per cent used their devices to shop online. Of those, 35 per cent prefer the mobile website experience when online shopping compared to the app (32 per cent) or the full website (32 per cent), according to the survey.

The findings come from a tracking survey of more than 1,000 adults from May through August. CEA said no sampling error could be calculated because the survey was based on people who self-selected for participation.