Can you live without your smartphone? New Roy Morgan Research data reveals that 45 per cent of Australian smartphone owners (14+) say that they “can’t live without” their mobile.The research, for the 12 months to March 2016, shows that the majority of smartphone owners agree they need a smartphone to help them juggle work and personal life (63 per cent), for their personal security (59 per cent) and to help them coordinate their social lives (54 per cent).
The research additionally shows that 44 per cent of smartphone owners need the device when travelling overseas, while 41 per cent need to be contactable at all times for work, and 36 per cent of owners agree they need it to give them more control over their lives.
Among Apple owners, 50 per cent can’t live without their iPhones, with Samsung (42 per cent), HTC (43 per cent) and LG (45 per cent) smartphone owners not too far behind, followed by Nokia (34 per cent), Sony (37 per cent) and Huawei (37 per cent).
“Even the earliest smartphone adopters were quick to forget how they ever survived without one,” Michele Levine, Roy Morgan Research CEO, commented. “The proportion of owners agreeing they ‘can’t live without it’ has been fairly steady at just under half for the past five years – a rate around three times higher than among ‘dumb phone’ owners asked the same question.
“As smartphone ownership has rapidly increased, so too has the number of us who feel dependent on a mobile phone. Today there are almost seven million Australians carrying around a smartphone they say they couldn’t live without.”
Levine noted that smartphones are “firmly mainstream”, with 60 per cent of “Technophobes” from Roy Morgan’s “Technology Adoption Segments” now owning one, with handset makers having “a much wider range of consumer segments to target, and more opportunities to find, define and own a position in the market”.
“For example, Huawei smartphone owners are among the least likely to say they can’t live without it or need it,” she commented. “They are less likely to use many of the different smartphone services we monitor, including taking photos, playing music and games, streaming videos, using GPS and Bluetooth functions, and downloading and using different apps.
“They are the most likely handset owners to be using a prepaid service (around twice as likely as average), they have lower data allowances and are less label-conscious or trusting of well-known brands.
“This is a segment of ‘Older Tech Explorers’ and ‘Technology Traditionalists’, who may not be top-of-mind for other handset makers, but are customers nonetheless – and a third of the population.”