Insights into Smartphone use
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 06 July 2011

Results of  consumer research carried out in the US, UK, France and Germany into smartphone ownership an use has some interesting facts developers.

According to Alison Casey, Head of Global Content at Futuresource Consulting:

“A quarter of people in the UK and a third in the US now own a smartphone and this growth is set to continue, with Futuresource research showing that three in four people across the UK and US will own a smartphone by 2014.”

She was reporting Wave 3 – Mobile Devices & Entertainment, the third study from “Living with Digital” Online Survey which sampled 2534 consumers in Q1 2011: 1009 in the US; 501 in the UK; 505 in France; 510 in Germany, stratified by age and gender.

 

FSPhone1

 

Looking at the demographic profile of mobile phone owners, the survey showed that adoption of iPhone, HTC and Blackberry phones was greatest among younger consumers and that Nokia and Motorola have the oldest demographic.

Mobile internet usage varied by type of phone and was highest (90%) among Android phone owners, followed closely by iPhone (85%) and Blackberry (80%). 22% of non-smartphone owners also accessed the Internet via their phones. Casey commented: "Facebook is a keystone for driving mobile internet usage, being the most visited site across all territories, followed by Google and YouTube, although in the UK YouTube relinquishes its third place position to the BBC, which is accessed by 44% of smartphone owners using mobile internet."

In response to the question “Have you downloaded any apps onto your phone” 38% of respondents in the USA, 26% in the UK, 25% in France and 21% in Germany said “Yes”. Games were the most popular downloads across all territories (58% - 72%) and 65% of smartphone owners play games on their phones (compared to 29% of non-smartphone owners) with iPhone owners being the most games-oriented (73%):

 

futsm2

(click to enlarge)

 

Apps for social networking, communication, maps and navigation and news and weather were also popular. How likely smartphone owners were to make in-app purchases depended on their phone – with over a third of iPhone owners having done so compared to 12% and 8% of BlackBerry and Android owners respectively. More respondents in the US and in France had made in-app purchases:

futsm3

(click to enlarge)

 

The study also highlighted two factors affecting the mobile apps market. The research shows that users on contract tariffs are far more likely to pay for content and downloads – and in the UK and Germany around a half of consumers are still using Pay-as-You-Go services. Secondly, the non-transferable nature of Apps between operating systems is driving brand loyalty which is particularly relevant to iPhone owners, with 54% intending to commit to the Apple brand in order to keep the Apps they have come to depend upon.

The survey also looked at planned and current use of tablets and discovered that they will have an important role in entertainment:

 

futsm4

(click to enlarge)

Alison Casey came to an encouraging conclusion for mobile app developers:

“Apps for smartphones and tablets continue to offer significant opportunities for promoting and monetizing games, books, movie and TV content. Although the market is in its early stages, tablets will become the portable device for entertainment in the future, generating a new breed of applications and services that will breath additional life into this already lucrative market segment."

futsumlog

 

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