The smartphone has become a ubiquitous accessory to a modern life. Most of the developed world has one, many have two. Whilst they clearly have a product to sell, if we believe the handset manufacturers, networks and telecom equipment manufacturers, most of the developing world wants one too. The appeal of a smartphone is easy to understand: it's small, light, easily portable and is a personal way to communicate and be communicated with. We have recently reported on usage statistics that show around half of all US smartphone owners check their devices at least several times a day and a little over one in ten of American claim they check their device every few minutes.
This data is based on a Gallup Panel survey where over 15,500 American smartphone-owning adults were asked how much they checked their device between the 17 April to the 18 May across fifty states. According to the survey, 81% of Americans keep their smartphones with them during the day and 63% of Americans as they sleep. Another interesting statistic is that the majority of Americans believe their use of their particular device is "below average;" 61% of owners claim they check their device less often than people they know and only 11% claim they are above average users.
The Gallup survey introduced a few reasons as to why Americans are so reliant on their smartphone and speculates that as a means of keeping in touch with the world, it has replaced the radio and the television and appears to be a key way people relate to the world. It is interesting that the Gallup survey did not consider how the smartphone appears to have almost replaced the newspaper, especially as a means of avoiding eye contact on the daily commute. Gallup note that their next survey will concentrate on how Americans think and feel about their smartphones and if the public consider that society's evolution towards a smartphone-culture is a good or bad thing. Given that many Americans cling to the belief that their use of their device is below average, it would seem that whilst using a smartphone in public is becoming more socially acceptable, people are still a little uncomfortable acknowledging they use theirs a lot.