Survey: 1 Out of 3 Smartphone Users Would Rather Give Up Chocolate Than Their Phones


A third of smartphone owners would rather give up chocolate than their devices and 39% of U.S. consumers with smartphones have used their phones in the bathroom. These are some of the more interesting results of a survey that Google just released. It’s no secret that we tend to use our phones to get online (81%) while watching TV (33%), but in this survey Google was more interested in the role these devices play while users are out shopping and looking for local information.

It’s All About Local Info

According to Google, 90% of smartphone searches result in an action, which Google defines along the lines of purchasing something or visiting a business. Most of the time (88%), this action is taken within a day. While 90% sounds like a large number, it does ring true, especially given that most mobile searches are indeed action-oriented and likely focused on getting to a very specific place. This number makes even more sense when we take into account that the survey also found that 95% of smartphone users regularly use their phones to look up local information.

Interestingly, Google did not look into the differences between Android and iPhone users (most likely because the survey is focused on the company’s mobile ad platform, which is available for both devices).

Here are a few additional data points from Google’s survey: [list]

  • 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer
  • 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase, whether online, in-store, or on their phones
  • 70% use their smartphones while in the store, reflecting varied purchase paths that often begin online or on their phones and brings consumers to the store
  • 24% recommended a brand or product to others as a result of a smartphone search
  • 93% of smartphone owners use their smartphones while at home [/list]

One set of numbers of the survey I don’t fully buy, though, is that “half of those who see a mobile ad take action, with 35% visiting a website and 49% making a purchase.” These numbers just seem too high – especially given what we know about how surfers on the Web generally react to ads.

10:55 am

Why I'm Not Buying ChangeWave's AT&T/Verizon iPhone Switcher Numbers


According to research firm ChangeWave, 15% of AT&T’s mobile subscribers plan to switch carriers in the next 90 days. Even worse for AT&T, 26% of its iPhone users plan to defect to Verizon once it gets the iPhone (41% within the 90 days after the release of the iPhone and 31% within a year). With numbers like this and the general undercurrent of dislike for AT&T in the tech blogosphere, these statistics are obviously catnip for the tech press and most outlets reported them as simple facts.

But I’m having a few issues with these numbers that make me think that this survey is ultimately too flawed to be trusted:

[list type=”red”]

  • This kind of self-reported data about future purchase decisions is notoriously unreliable. Just look at the numbers. Almost 30% of those who said they would switch don’t even think they would switch within the next year. But those who answered the survey (and we don’t know enough about the methodology here to begin with) could have had lots of different reasons for telling ChangeWave why they wanted to switch (social pressure, “sticking it to AT&T” etc.). Notice how ChangeWave’s numbers about dropped calls are also self-reported.
  • The group of people ChangeWave interviews is highly self-selected. This data is not based on random phone interviews but on a survey of “credentialed professionals who spend their everyday lives working on the frontline of technological change. Nearly 3 out of every 5 members (53%) have advanced degrees (e.g., Master’s or Ph.D.) and 91% have at least a four-year bachelor’s degree.” These people opted to be part of the ChangeWave Alliance for the sole reason of being a part of these surveys.
  • The survey was conducted before Verizon had even announced the iPhone for its network. Even today, we don’t know critical information about how much Verizon plans to charge for its data plans, for example. We also haven’t seen any speed comparisons between AT&T’s and Verizon’s networks yet.
  • [/list]
    Will a lot of people switch from AT&T to Verizon? Probably. This survey, however, doesn’t really tell us much and the numbers are questionable at best.

    Let’s come back in a few months and see what the real numbers are. I’m sure if this many people really switch, Verizon will be more than happy to tell us.


    12:20 pm