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Smartphone users average 11 mobile purchases per year

Thursday 3 October 2013 | 16:08 CET | Background

Smartphones support a variety of purchases - not just items for the phone, such as apps or music, but also other things from online shops. In June 2013, Telecompaper asked around 1,500 smartphone users how often they make purchases over their phones.

On average, smartphone users made 11 purchases per year over their phones. Of these, six were for use on the phone, such as apps, music or game options. The other five purchases concerned other articles, such as books or clothes from an online shop. Among those who made at least one purchase in the past year, they averaged 36 purchases, split into 19 mobile products and 17 other items. 

Figure 1: Frequency of purchases and number of purchases of mobile items purchased over a mobile phone, split by age group. Basis: smartphone users. Source: TPCP June 2013 (n=1,151). Key: Very often =  1x per week; Often = 1x per two weeks; Regularly = 1x per month; Sometimes = 1x per half year; Hardly ever = 1x per year.



27% buy mobile items once every six months

Around a quarter (27%) said they buy something for their phone at least once every six months, such as apps or music downloads (see figure 1). Sixty percent said they never buy things for their phone, and this rose to 70 percent for 50-64 year-olds. Younger consumers (12-19) are more likely to make purchases over their phones (53% do so at least occasionally) and also average a higher number of purchases.  

25% make other purchases 

A quarter buy other products over their phone at least once every six months, such as books, clothes or travel (see figure 2). Four percent do this once a week, while 63 percent said they never make such purchases over a phone. Again, the youngest age group makes such purchases more often (48%), as does the 20-29 age group (43%). The youngest group also more purchases, at an average eight per year for the youngest group, compared to five for other age groups. 

Figure 2: Frequency of purchases and number of purchases of non-mobile items over mobile phone, split by age group. Basis: smartphone users. Source: TPCP June 2013 (n=1,906). Key: Very often =  1x per week; Often = 1x per two weeks; Regularly = 1x per month; Sometimes = 1x per half year; Hardly ever = 1x per year.


iPhone users more likely to make purchases over phone

Around a third (35%) of iPhone users said they buy something to use on their phone at least once a month. Among Android users, this is just 16 percent. On average, an iPhone user makes ten purchases a year, and an Android user buys five things. However, based on those who make at least once purchase a year, there is little difference between the two operating systems. 

Figure 3: Frequency of purchases and number of purchases of mobile items over the mobile phone, split by operating system. Source: TPCP June 2013 (n=1,315). 


This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer panel. The survey was conducted in June 2013 (n=1,151). Panel participants are aged 12-80, and results are stratified according to age, sex and education. For more information about the research possibilities of our panel, please contact Tine Niezink (tine@telecompaper.com).



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