Data Use Now Beating Talk Time on Smartphones


Share this Post

Apple's original iPhone was transformational in the sense that it brought handheld computing to the masses. However, the promise of on-the-go pocket computers is still slightly hampered (especially in the U.S.) by the need for a phone subscription. Now new research has shown that we may be headed toward a future where talking on a smartphone might be as rare and antiquated as faxing.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today released the results of a tracking study showing that consumers now spend more combined time using data-dependent apps on smartphones than talking on them. Of the average 114 minutes smartphone users spend on their devices each day, talking still remains the number one activity with 23 average minutes. However, texting, emailing, social networking, and web browsing now combine for an average of 65 minutes spent each day.

“The degree to which consumers use their smartphones primarily as data information hubs, mostly forgoing devices’ traditional purpose, is significant,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at CEA. “Smartphones have become the viewfinder of our digital life. How smartphone utilization evolves has incredible implications moving forward.”

The CEA points to rising smartphone adoption in the U.S. as one of the factors underpinning these statistics. The group also predicts that smartphone market saturation in the U.S. will be seen in just a couple years' time, matching analyst predictions that smartphone market growth in the coming years will center on emerging markets such as China and Brazil. For now, though, 45% of U.S. consumers intend to buy a new smartphone within the next 12 months.