Mobile phone usage report 2011: The things you do

GSMArena team, 02 May 2011.

Tags: Misc

Alarm clock

Not too long ago we said that cell phones must have spelt doom for alarm clocks, but even we didnít expect this to be one of the most used features of modern day handsets. Thatís a total of 97.8% of all phone users, with 82.7% using it daily.

And we can certainly see the reasons for this Ė the phone is always with you, itís loud enough to wake you up and it even might have a few cool features like sleep cycle recording or a gentle wake-up.

Those youngest (under 18) and oldest (over 50) use the alarm clock feature the least, while the peak of popularity is in the 25-32 age group. As with other so wildly popular features, usage differences across continents are negligible.

Language tools

The popularity of language tools came as a huge surprise to us. We knew there were some people using their phones to translate short texts or look up an occasional definition but we certainly didnít expect that nearly 90% of you use their cell phones for that.

Itís worth noting that this is another distinctly age-specific behavior. Those under 18 use language tools the most (helping with school assignments we suppose) and their popularity gradually drops as we move towards older users.

Interestingly, use of the feature on a daily basis in Asia is more than double that in Europe. But weíre seeing this trend with some other features as well.


The pocket calculator is perhaps another gadget facing extinction at the hands of the cell phone. This is an extremely handy feature to have on a phone and many people of all continents and age groups are using it.

Unsurprisingly, itís the under-18 age group that use their handsetís calculators the most. What we canít quite figure out is why Asians are using this feature so much more than Europeans.

Taking notes

Another thing that cell phones are particularly good at these days Ė taking short notes and keeping reminders always at hand. Itís no wonder that over 93% of all users have some kind of a Notes app and put it to good use.

This is probably the most balanced usage pattern across different age groups and gender. Just a few percent separate the teenagers from the middle-aged people and those over fifty.

The only notable differences are related to location Ė just 33.6% of the Europeans take notes on their handset daily, while about 47% of the Asians do.

USB flash drive

Plugging in your cell phone in your computer and using it as a fully functional flash drive is what 80% of you do at least occasionally and 27.2% perform daily.

Interestingly, women donít use this feature as much Ė under 74% of total users, though another 10% of the female users would try this feature if it was available to them.

Teenagers are the biggest fans of the mass storage mode, whereas users over 50 are the least interested.

Another trend we noticed here is that South Americans like to transfer files on their handsets way more than Europeans.


Using a cell phone as a flashlight is already pretty widespread but over 10% of the users still wait for their chance to try it. LED flash units might not be too useful as a photo tools, but they seem to serve the purpose of a flashlight hust fine.

Flashlight usage is another thing that is most popular with teenagers and it gets less and less popular as you move towards older age groups.

Across continents, we noticed that Asians are more likely than Europeans to turn on their torch.

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