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Smartphones Preferred Over Computers for Web Access

June 1, 2011

More than one-half of smartphone owners (55.9%) say they prefer using a smartphone to a computer when accessing the Internet, according to a new survey from Prosper Mobile Insights. Moreover, some 52.9% of smartphone owners say they use all of the functions of their smartphone, so much so that "it's their life."

Another 30.4% of surveyed smartphone owners say they use the basic functions of their device plus a few apps, whereas 16.7% use their smartphone just for calling, text messaging, and email.

Below, additional findings from a report by Prosper Mobile Insights, based on a survey of 102 smartphone users who completed the survey via smartphone.

Asked which device function they can't live without, most smartphone owners cite texting (21.6%), accessing the Internet (16.7%), or sending/receiving email (15.7%). Fewer users can't live without calling features (7.8%), GPS (6.9%), access to Facebook (5.9%), or apps (4.9%).

But new technology raises privacy issues, and smartphone owners cite the following as their biggest concerns: 

  • Location being tracked: 35.3%
  • Someone accessing personal information: 31.4%
  • Someone accessing financial data: 21.6%
  • Online behavior being tracked: 11.8%

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Good news for retailers: 81.4%of smartphone users say they use their smartphone to browse for products and services, and more than three-quarters (77.5%) use their smartphone to find information on retail stores.

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  • by Paul Cash Wed Jun 1, 2011 via web

    I lurveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee my iPhone. It's awesome. Its great for work, great for the kids and great for just being great but do I really PREFER it to my macbook for accessing the web?????

    Can't believe 55.9% of people prefer to access the web via their smartphone as opposed to their computer. If prefer means is it easier/accessible then yes but if prefer means small screens are better than big screen then no.

    Anyway, thats what the stats say so must be true :)

  • by Mike K Wed Jun 1, 2011 via web

    I'm not sure how much stock I would put in a survey of only 102 people that used a smartphone to complete it and apply findings to all smartphone owners. I'd be curious what percentage of smartphone owners wouldn't have the first clue how to fill out a survey on a smartphone to begin with. Might need to apply a different qualify such as "... of advanced smartphone users" rather than "smartphone owners".

  • by D. Wagner Wed Jun 1, 2011 via web

    Is it me or does this survey seem slanted?

    The study targeted smartphone users by executing a survey via the smartphone. So isn't that study group going to be predisposed to be a group of smartphone power users?

    Also, the article doesn't mention the percentage of U.S. mobile phones users who are on smartphones, which is 28% according to an article posted November 2010 on the NielsenWire blog site. So that's about 84.8 million people, while the survey respondents total 102.

    I'd suggested a headline rewrite on this one, or at least some further clarification. Sorry. I usually love your content, but this is misleading.

    That said, undoubtedly, smartphone users love their smartphones and probably get more mileage out of them because they aren't likely to be tech adverse.

  • by Allen Weiss Wed Jun 1, 2011 via web

    D. Wagner...I agree about this study...I always look at who conducted the if a mobile organization conducted it, I'm not surprised they found something that favors their industry...which makes me skeptical about the findings. Having said this, at MarketingProfs we publish the survey and the headline as is to simply represent what the survey said, without laying on our own editorial comments.

  • by Bill Lublin Wed Jun 1, 2011 via web

    Allen - point taken - any statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt - but Marketing Profs at least lets us know what people are publishing! Thanks for the info.

  • by John @ FiveQ Mon Jun 6, 2011 via web

    Certainly indicative of where consumption of content is headed.

  • by Ben Mon Sep 12, 2011 via web

    102 people is a very small sample for a survey of this kind. And the survey was conducted on mobile devices. so, are we surprised that a majority of respondents do everything on their smart phones.

    this is a poor survey design apparently intended to bolster a pre-determined result. Was this paid for by a smart phone manufacturer?


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