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What is the main reason for using smartphones?

Smartphones are taking over the mobile world by storm. More specifically, from the 5 billion mobile phone users globally, 1.08 billion are smartphone users, from which about 91.4 million are U.S. citizens; a number that rises dramatically every year (Go Gulf 2012). The age group 25-34 has the highest usage rate of 62%, while it has been found that Singapore has the greatest penetration levels worldwide (54%). In a prediction made by Goldman Sachs in 2011, by the year 2015 81% of all American mobile users will own smartphones (Digby 2012), while according to Ericsson (2012) smartphones will have the power to shape everyday life habits and activities in developed and technology savvy markets.

The same research, produced by the Ericsson ConsumerLab and presented in the Emerging App Culture report in 2012, examined the emerging markets of Russia, India and Brazil and concluded that the main reason for buying such a device was in order to download and use mobile applications. To be exact, 69% of these users accessed the internet by using apps daily and 20% used services such as TV or navigation apps on a daily basis. Other reasons for the specific purchase proved to be fast internet access, high quality software, attractive design and superior resolution of the screen, among others. On the contrary, the main activities that the users did after buying the smartphone were mostly location-based services and usage of maps for traffic and navigation reasons, followed by watching internet TV and movies.

Evidence of the speed of change in the technology world forms the fact that in 2011 a research conducted by the Pew Research Center found that the main reason for using a smartphone was by large (92%) text messaging and taking photos, while Internet surfing came second. In this year, a survey by Google concluded to the result that 81% of U.S. users browse the Internet and that basically online search is the number one activity implemented. At the same time, BBC and Reuters focused on British citizens and found out that especially the younger users tend to grow an addictive behaviour with their smartphones, using them essentially for social networking (over 60%), an activity that for adults covers a percentage of 40%, and secondly to listen to music (62% and 33% respectively).

As of 2012, it seems that the smartphone market has outgrown the PC market by far (IDC), while the reasons for using such a device have multiplied.

So Jeebboo conducted a survey asking its members to vote for their opinion on which are the main reason for using smartphones and the results are the following:

Checking social networks (25.3%)
Checking/writing emails (10.46%)
Making calls (24.33%)
Playing games (39.9%)

Other reasons include use of applications, online video consumption, for shopping reasons (Google Mobile Ads Blog 2012). Last but not least, geo-social and location-based services, such as tracing local stores and restaurants or local information in general, are considered to be another substantial reason for using a smartphone.
Related articles

Go Gulf 2012 (http://www.go-gulf.com)
Digby (http://www.digby.com)
Google Mobile Ads Blog 2012 (http://googlemobileads.blogspot.de)
Think with Google (2012) (http://thinkwithgoogle.blogspot.de)
Ericsson 2012 (http://www.ericsson.com)
Advocate’s studio (http://advocatesstudio.com)
Tech crunch (http://techcrunch.com)
BBC 2011 (http://www.bbc.co.uk)
Reuters 2011 (http://uk.reuters.com)

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