A few days ago Keith Chen, Uber’s Head of Economic Research, explained some of the findings their research on people’s reactions and behaviors towards surge pricing has led to. One of the most interesting aspects that emerged is that Uber knows when your smartphone is running low on battery and that customers are more likely to agree to surge pricing in those instances. While Uber did make it clear that they do not act on this information, it does help to identify the behaviors that people have when their smartphones are running low on juice. Interestingly, last week saw LG post the results of their own survey on this very subject, battery life. LG did of course, introduce their latest flagship smartphone, the LG G5 back in February and this is one which makes use of a modular approach where owners can simply swap out a dead battery for a new one. However, for the rest of us who rely on actually having to charge our batteries, the LG survey provides some interesting insight into how smartphone owners behave in these instances or as LG puts it, when they are suffering from ‘Low Battery Anxiety’ (LBA).
One of the most interesting aspects of the survey is that LG found nine out of 10 people will “alter their plans in some way” to avoid running out of battery. Whether this is delaying an outward trip to charge their device or even cancelling an outing altogether. With 41-percent of respondents noting that missed calls is what they feared most with a dead battery. Aspects that is likely why the same survey notes that as much as 86-percent of people charge their battery between one and three times a day and 28-percent report their smartphone is almost permanently in a state of being ‘on charge’. Likewise, if you have ever asked a stranger to charge your phone, then you are not alone as 39-percent of respondents have reportedly done the same. While, the survey also highlighted that 35-percent of respondents had admitted to secretly borrowing someone else’s charger to charge their phone. While 22-percent admitted to ordering something at a bar or restaurant to make use of a wall charger. Other behaviors that emerged included 23-percent admitting they have rowed with a partner due to unanswered calls and texts being received while a battery was dead, while 33-percent of people said they had even skipped going to the gym in favor of charging their handset. In fact, 32-percent admitted they were are willing to “drop everything” and head back home just to ensure their smartphone is charged.
It is not all bad news though. The findings also showed that a number of people have resorted to some clever ways to ensure that they never have to worry about their battery fully depleting, with 88-percent stating they take preventive measures to prolong the battery life of their smartphone. This included 67-percent of people surveyed stating they close apps they are not using, while 54-percent change the brightness of their screen. 49-percent event noted they avoided logging on to social media to preserve their battery, while 47-percent would opt to turn off their GPS and 43-percent choosing not to take any more photos while battery life is low. On the other hand, 43-percent try to avoid an issue altogether by owning at least three smartphone chargers. Lastly, some explained the ways in which they make use of the last of their battery to prepare for the end. For instance, 51-percent noted they use their remaining minutes of battery life to text people, while thirty five percent use the time to make calls – presumably to tell friends and family they have no battery left.