Four Out of Five Never Leave Home Without It

According to the  newly released global mobile phones survey from Synovate, revealing just how attached Americans are to their cell phones, 82% of Americans never leave home without their phones, and 36% of people across the world (42% of Americans) say they 'cannot live without' their cell phone.

Overall, 23% of respondents across 11 markets, including 504 in the US, own more than two mobile phones. Americans are among the most likely to own at least two at 33%, along with the French (34%). Brits and Americans were the most likely to own a smartphone at 21% and 20%, respectively.

Synovate's global head of media, Steve Garton, said these small-but-powerful devices are so ubiquitous that by last year, more human beings owned one than did not!

Barton points out a unique opportunity for marketers in that "... most people do not think of phones as a media platform at all... (they) tend to classify the mobile phone differently to mainstream media like television, radio, print, outdoor and even the internet."

Around a third of US respondents agreed they did not know how to use most of the features on their phones, according to the report, but putting aside the almost ubiquitous calling and SMS functions, the three features most used on a regular basis are:

Cell Phone Features Regularly Used (% of Owners)


% of Global Users

% of Americans

Alarm clock









Source: Synovate Mobile Phone Survey, October 2009

The survey showed that the US and the UK lead the way in mobile functions that require 3G access:

  • Overall, 17% of respondents use email on their mobile on a regular basis, led by 26% in the US and 25% in the UK.
  • 17% use Internet browsing, topped by the UK at 31% and the US at 26%
  • 11% say they social network regularly via mobile, again led by the UK (17%) and the US (15%)

Cameras are clearly very important to mobile phone owners as well. An overall 62% use the camera regularly, led by 76% in the UK, 71% in France, and 68% in the US. This is also the feature that Americans most want to see improved in their phones (31%).

This survey showed that 31% of people across 11 markets have lied about their whereabouts via text, one in five has set up a first date and 12% have broken up with someone. The survey showed how text is used:

  • One third of all respondents globally had flirted with their partners by text, including 36% of Americans
  • 15% have flirted with someone other than their partners, led by the Brits (26%) and Russians (24%), while 16% of Americans say they have done this
  • 20%, or one in five respondents across 11 markets, have set up a first date via text, including 9% of Americans

And, for potentially bad news:

  • 12% have broken up with someone via text, led by 23% of Filipinos. Just 4% of Americans have done this
  • Overall, 8% of respondents have been dumped via text, led by 20% of Malaysians, while only 5% of Americans have been dumped via text
  • 35% agreed that they have hidden behind text to say no or send a difficult message, led by 49% of Filipinos. Least likely to hide behind text are Canadians (79% say they haven't done this) and Americans (71%)
  • 31% agreed they have lied about why they were running late or where they are, led by 57% of Filipinos. Least likely to lie via text (so they say) are the Dutch (84% say they haven't) and the Americans (79%)

For additional information, please visit Synovate here.


The Synovate In:fact survey on mobile phones was conducted in June 2009 across 11 markets and with over 8,000 urban mobile phone owners. The markets covered are Canada, Denmark, France, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (US).

1 comment about "Four Out of Five Never Leave Home Without It".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Rodney Brooks from ToTouch One, Inc, October 23, 2009 at 1:18 p.m.

    How did we live our life's before the cell phone?

Next story loading loading..