Smartphones have become more and more popular and it is now one of the devices most of us can not live without. On a typical day, we check emails, make phone calls, text friends, play games in the subway and check our Facebook at work or off work. Smartphones are “smarter” now, with different functions added. We can do so many things on smartphones.
So what are the most common activities performed with smartphones on a daily basis? How different are the activities preferred by men and women and among different age groups? What smartphone operating systems do users prefer? Let’s find out!
Top Smartphone Activities
According to the Simmons® ConnectSM mobile and digital panel conducted by Experian in 2013, as shown below, the most common smartphone activities are messaging, talking and emailing. 79% of smartphone users text on a typical day while 77% talk on the phone and 66% email on daily basis. Also, 63% of smartphone users visit websites. (That’s why mobile search and mobile content strategy is more and more important nowadays). More than half of the smartphone users use social networks or blog on their smartphones every day.
As we can imagine, men and women use smartphones for different purposes. As shown below, a greater percentage of women use social networks or blog daily and more use cameras than men do. On the other hand, a greater percentage of men use smartphones to download or watch videos, listen to music and use a GPS than women do. These are no surprises. But what’s unexpected is that more women play games on smartphones everyday than men do, 38% versus 28%. Is it because men use tablets to play games? This can be a good study to do. However, I will not go into more details here.
Different age groups have different preferences as well. To make it easier to understand, I used an index for the chart below. (Highlighted parts are the significant points). As shown in the chart, age group 18 to 24 and age group 35 to 44 likes to use cameras on smartphones more than other age groups. Users aged 25 to 34 tend to use a GPS more than other age groups and younger age groups 18 to 34 tend to use IM and chat more often than older age groups. Users aged 18 to 24 are the heaviest users that consume videos on smartphones and a greater percentage of users aged 18 to 24 play games, read newspapers everyday.
Women’s Smartphone Activities
From the above findings we know women are very interested in playing games and using social networks on their smartphones. But how interested are they? As shown below, women play games more frequently than men do on a daily basis. 12% of women play 8 to 25 times a day while only 6% of men play that many times a day.
As shown below, women use social networks on smartphones more often than men do as well. 27% of men use social networks 1 to 7 times a day while 24% of women do. However, 26% of women use social networks 8 to 25 times a day while only 16% of men do. This data is consistent with what we discussed before: 57% of women use social network everyday while only 47% of men do it every day. With that said, women are more social oriented.
Usage of different Smartphone Operating Systems
We know different smartphone operating systems perform differently for all activities. As shown below, Android users like watching videos on their smartphones more than Blackberry and iPhone users. It is the same case for IM or playing games. However, iPhone users like to read newspapers, listen to music and use the GPS as well as download apps more than Android and Blackberry users. iPhone and Blackberry users tend to use cameras more than Android users. What catches attention is the comparatively high advantage of iPhones in listening to music (index 140) and using a GPS (index 126). As an iPhone user, I do think Google Maps works really well on iPhones.
As we discussed before, men and women prefer different smartphone activities and I assumed men and women prefer different operating systems. The chart below partly verifies my assumption. More women prefer the iPhone (31%) while more men prefer Blackberry (8%) and Android (53%).
Age groups have different preferences for operating systems as well. Younger groups prefer iPhones while older groups prefer Blackberry. Android users almost distribute evenly for different age groups. This finding is consistent with the finding we discussed before: younger groups are more interested in IM/chat, listening to music, GPS, playing games and reading newspapers.
Since different age groups choose different operating systems and different age groups have unique preferences for smartphone activities, each operating system needs to be oriented towards certain activities. It can also be explained the other way round: since different age groups prefer different smartphone activities, they choose smartphone operating systems accordingly.
Which makes more sense? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!