Top Uses For Computer And Smartphone Are Device Sensitive

by , Jan 18, 2013, 6:15 AM
  • Comment (1)
  • Recommend (2)
Subscribe to Research Brief

According to The Harris Poll in November 2012 there are both divergences and similarities in actions performed by smartphone owners using both the phone and the computer. When smartphone owners are asked which of a set of actions (common to both devices) they regularly perform on a smartphone and/or on a computer, the IM, or instant message is the most common smartphone use (87%) and the least common use for a computer (20%).

In contrast, emails are the top use for computers, with 90% for all email uses combined. Email is still a highly utilized feature on smartphones (72% combined), though reading emails (67% personal, 38% work) outpaces actually writing emails (56% personal, 32% work) on smartphones.

Smartphone owners also appear to favor computers for researching goods and services (3rd most reported activity vs. 8th for smartphone use) and purchasing products or services such as clothing and holiday gifts (4th vs. 12th). In contrast, mapping/navigation is among the top uses for smartphones (73% / 2nd), but only a mid-tier use for computers (56% / 7th).

Despite the many differences between smartphone and computer use, combined social media interactions make for the 5th most frequent use for both a smartphone and a computer. In both cases, reading posts (56% smartphone, 62% computer) is the top activity, followed by sharing  and writing. A similar percentage use their smartphones to "check in" (43%), while far fewer do so on computers (28%).

Media and Communication Actions Regularly Performed on Computer and Smartphone(% of Respondents; Smartphone and Computer; Base: Smartphone users)

Using a Computer

Using a Smartphone

Email [NET]

90%

Send or receive text or instant messages

87%

Send personal emails

84

Mapping, navigation, etc.

73

Read personal emails

82

Email [NET]

72

Send work emails

60

Read personal emails

67

Read work emails

59

Send personal emails

56

Take surveys

86

Read work emails

38

Research goods or services

81

Send work emails

32

Purchase other products or services (e.g. clothes holiday gifts, etc.)

78

Download free applications, music or videos

66

Social Media [NET]

69

Social Media [NET]

64

Read social media posts on sites or apps such as Facebook or Twitter

62

Read social media posts on sites or apps such as Facebook or Twitter

56

Share social media posts (e.g. news, jokes, pictures, etc.)

51

Share social media posts (e.g. news, jokes, pictures, etc.)

44

Write social media posts

50

"Check in" via social media

43

"Check in" via social media

28

Write social media posts

43

Find or research restaurants

61

Play games

56

Mapping, navigation, etc.

56

Find or research restaurants

53

Play games

52

Research goods or services

45

Download free applications, music or videos

38

Purchase applications, music or videos

42

Purchase applications, music or videos

37

Take surveys

24

Video chat (e.g. FaceTime, Skype, etc.)

35

Video chat (FaceTime, Skype, etc.)

23

Send or receive text or instant messages

20

Purchase other products or services (e.g. clothes, holiday gifts, etc.)

23

Source: Harris Interactive, January 2012 ( Multiple responses allowed)

Smartphone owners with children in their household are significantly more likely than those without to indicate using smartphones for most of the activities tested, including mapping/navigation uses, downloading free applications, music or videos, combined social media use, playing games, researching goods or services, and many others.

Actions Regularly Performed Using A Smartphone (by Children in HH; Base: Smartphone users)

 

Total Smartphone Users

Smartphone Users With Children <18 In HH

Smartphone Users Without Children <18 In HH

Send or receive text or instant messages

87%

89%

86%

Mapping, navigation, etc.

73

79

68

Email [NET]

72

76

69

Read personal emails

67

71

64

Send personal emails

56

60

53

Read work emails

38

44

34

Send work emails

32

37

29

Download free applications, music or videos

66

72

62

Social Media [NET]

64

72

59

Read social media posts on sites or apps such as Facebook or Twitter

56

63

51

Share social media posts (e.g. news, jokes, pictures, etc.)

44

51

40

"Check in" via social media

43

53

36

Write social media posts

43

51

37

Play games

56

62

52

Find or research restaurants

53

56

50

Research goods or services

45

54

39

Purchase applications, music or videos

42

50

36

Take surveys

24

31

19

Video chat (FaceTime, Skype, etc.)

23

28

19

Purchase other products or services (e.g. clothes, holiday gifts, etc.)

23

30

17

Source: Harris Interactive, January 2012 ( Multiple responses allowed)

The report concludes by noting that understanding what smartphones are used for is an integral part of designing a successful device. The prevalence of text messaging calls for a well designed keyboard interface. Similarly, smartphone users' reliance on their devices for mapping and navigation services calls for either a well designed mapping interface. As reliance on these devices continues to grow both data plans and entire data networks may be affected in any number of ways.

For additional information from Harris Interactive, please visit here.

 

1 comment on "Top Uses For Computer And Smartphone Are Device Sensitive".

  1. Boz Boschen from Capital One
    commented on: January 18, 2013 at 3:48 p.m.
    The citation is from January 2012 on the data charts. I'm assuming you got the year wrong.

Leave a Comment

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now

Recent Research Brief Articles

» Research Brief Archives