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Use of smartphone functions decreasing

Thursday 9 January 2014 | 11:59 CET | Background

The use of various functions on smartphones has decreased over the past year, according to consumer research by Telecompaper. The decline may be explained by the growing number of older people using smartphones. The survey also found that men use more functions of the phone than women. Among the most popular features were the alarm, used by 62 percent of smartphone owners at least once a month.

The functions alarm, agenda/calendar, clock, navigation and video were also used less over the past year (figure 1). The only function that was more popular than a year ago was using the phone as a remote control for the TV. The decline in use may be explained by the higher smartphone penetration. With most young people now owning smartphones, it is mainly older people who have adopted the devices for the first time in the past year. In general, the older the smartphone user, the less likely s/he is to use all the functions of the phone (figure 2). The decrease in usage may also have something to do with the fact that people have their phones nearby them less often

Figure 1: percentage smartphone users that use certain functions at least once a month, by year. Source: TPCP October 2012 (n=1,512) and October 2013 (n=1320).


Figure 2: percentage smartphone users that use certain functions at least once a month, by age. Source: TPCP October 2012 (n=1,512) and October 2013 (n=1320).

62% use smartphone as alarm

The most-used feature on a smartphone is the alarm, used by 62 percent of all smartphone owners at least once a month (figure 1). A majority also use their smartphones for the agenda/calendar and clock (56% and 52%). Banking and navigation are other popular functions, used by respectively 44 percent and 42 percent. Much less popular are using the phone as a hotspot (11%) and watching live TV (8%). Very few people (5% or less) used the smartphone as a remote control for the TV, stereo, video recorder or heating.

 

Men use smartphone more for navigation, agenda

Men use more functions on their phones than women. Especially the agenda/calendar and navigation were used more by men: 60 percent of men versus 51 percent of women for the agenda and 47 percent of men versus 37 percent of women for navigation. Smaller differences were found in other features, such as the hotspot (10% women, 13% men) and operating a sound system (2% women, 6% men).

Figure 3: percentage smartphone users that use certain phone functions at least once per month, by gender. Source: TPCP October 2013 (n=1320).

75% of iPhone owners use alarm function

iPhone owners are more likely to use almost all the functions more than other smartphone users (figure 4). The alarm is especially popular, used by 75 percent of iPhone owners. Those with Apple devices also use their phones more for banking (65% vs 48% of total market), watching live TV (14% vs 8% of total market and controlling a sound system (11% vs 5% of total market).

Figure 4: percentage smartphone users that use certain phone functions at least once per month, by phone brand. Source: TPCP October 2013 (n=1,079).



Lumia not used much for navigation

Less than three out of ten Nokia users use their smartphones for navigation, versus 42 percent of the total market (see figure 4). Nokia smartphone users are also less likely to use their phones for banking (27% vs 44% of total market) or watching live TV (1% vs 8% of total market).

Consumers with HTC smartphones make more use of the personal hotspot function (16% vs 11% of total market). They also use their phones more often as agenda/calender (62% vs 56% of total market). Using an HTC phone to control the stereo was not so popular, with none of the HTC owners saying they do this, versus 4 percent of the total market using the function.


This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. The survey was conducted in October 2012 (n=1,512) and October 2013 (n=1,320). Panel participants are aged 12-80, and results are stratified according to age, gender and education. For more information about the research opportunities of our panel, please contact feedback@telecompaper.com.



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