Smartphone usage on the rise

smart phone thumb Smartphone usage on the riseWhether in bed, on the loo, in a business meeting or during a first date, a new survey suggests no place or moment is sacred when it comes to using a smartphone.

Forty-six per cent of Australian mobile phone users are now using smartphones, up from 31 per cent in 2010, according to a survey released by Telstra on Monday.

The number is set to climb to 60 per cent in the next 12 months, and nowhere it seems is off bounds when it comes to hopping online.

‘It’s clear smartphones are becoming an inseparable part of our lives, with Telstra’s research indicating they now help us to shop smarter, connect with our social networks and kill boredom during business meetings,’ Telstra consumer executive director Rebekah O’Flaherty said in a statement on Monday.

Four in 10 of the users surveyed say they have used their smartphone when trying to avoid a social encounter, with one in four using the gadgets during business meetings.

Home was the most popular place to access the net on phones, with 86 per cent surveyed saying they had done so.

Trains, buses and ferries came in next at 59 per cent, with 56 per cent saying they had accessed the net in bed, 33 per cent while on the toilet and 11 per cent on a date.

Smartphones are also catching up to PC usage in some areas, with one in four people surveyed saying they visited social networking sites such as Facebook more on their mobiles.

‘While men love to visit app stores and browse news and sports sites, women prefer to spend their time connecting with friends with half saying they check social network sites daily – compared with just a third of men,’ Ms O’Flaherty said.

More people are also going online when shopping, with 47 per cent using their phones to find information about a product.

‘It’s also clear we love our apps,’ she said.

‘Almost one in four smartphone web-surfers have downloaded more than 20 free apps.

‘Social network apps and games are rated most useful, followed by weather, transport, maps, banking and health-related apps.’

The survey, conducted by Nielsen, surveyed 2827 people aged 16 and over from across Australia.

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