Mobile phone usage report 2011: The things you do

GSMArena team, 02 May 2011.

Tags: Misc

Listening to music

Did you know that iPods were the only part of Apple’s otherwise booming portfolio that is suffering a drop in sales just about every quarter? Well, here’s the explanation – 60.7% of all people listen to music on their mobile phones every day, while another 34.6% do so every now and then.

And it’s yet another feature that highly depends on age. In fact listening to music is the top daily activity in the teenager age group, while it only ranks 12th among the 50+ users.

Across continents, it’s Europeans that listen to music the least, while Asians score more than 10% above the average on daily usage.



Listen to radio

We were wondering if an FM radio receiver is still an essential feature. Well it turns out that it is pretty important – one in five users turn on their radio app daily, while another 56.6% use it from time to time.

Also 5.2% of the respondents would love to use the feature if they could – those are mostly iPhone users we assume as the percentage of users that selected the “Would if I Could” option is highest in North America (just kidding!). South Americans are the most active here as they have the least percentage of people who answered Never, while users in Oceania are the least interested in the feature.

Apparently, online radios are not a good enough alternative just yet. Maybe people wouldn’t waste megabytes from their pricey data plans that could be better used elsewhere. And a constant data connection is way more taxing on the battery than god old FM radio tuner.

Unlike listening to music, radio isn’t really dependent on age – users in the 18-24 age category use it the most, but the difference across the age groups isn’t that big.



Audio books

There’s not much to tell you here really. Audio books struggle to make an impact – just 3.8% of you use them daily, the total users are under 35% and the rest don’t seem too keen on starting.

Audio books have somewhat higher than average popularity among teenagers (we assume they prefer them to normal books for their mandatory school reads) and users in Africa. The latter are mostly women – 5.5 on a daily basis.

Oceania users and those aged over 50+ do not seem to have any interest in using their phones as audio book players.



Podcasts

Podcasts on your cell phone? No thanks, say most of you – 60.7% to be exact. Their overall popularity is about the same as that of Audio books, but their strongest demographic is different – North Americans, aged 32-50. Africans and those aged 18-24 seem particularly uninterested in podcasts, though you will notice that the differences are way subtler here.



Using music recognition services

Music recognition services were always meant to be a niche complimentary feature and we are actually surprised that 5.8% of you use one daily. The fact that 43% of our readers use music recognition occasionally is not surprising, but it’s weird enough there’s a new song that someone would want to check out every day.

It’s teenagers who use such services the most. Ages 41-50 are using this feature the least.

Geographically speaking, North Americans love those services, while their south neighbors seem uninterested. The rest are pretty close to the average.



Watching movies

The screens are getting bigger, blacks getting deeper, codec support is better and the processing power is catching up with netbooks – video watching is quickly becoming a viable option for cell phone users.

14.8% are already checking out at least one video per day on their handsets, 22.9% only find the time once a week, while more than half of the rest still watch movies, even if rarely. And there are some that are still waiting for cell phones to improve that extra bit to join the fun. Not bad, considering that five years ago watching a movie on your cell phone was something very few people would so much as consider.

Like listening to music, video watching is a territory reserved for the youngsters. Just one in 20 people over 50+ turns on their phone to watch a movie every day, in the under 18 age group it’s one in five.

But of all defined groups in our survey, it’s Asian users that watch movies the most. Europeans are at the other end of the spectrum, but strangely it’s women and the aforementioned (50+ group) where movie watching on a cell phone popularity hits rock bottom.



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