The growth of the smartphone market has been strong over the last few years, with ownership of high-end devices now at over 50 per cent in countries including the UK, Australia, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.
This is according to research published by search engine giant and smartphone operating system developer, Google, which found that saturation is at over 40 per cent in its native US.
While the market still has room to expand, it is the habits of the smartphone users that are worthy of note for businesses.
80 per cent of people in the US who own a smartphone said that they never leave their home without taking it with them. The importance of clever mobile technology has become so pervasive that a third of those questioned even said that they would be willing to sacrifice their television before their smartphone if they had to choose between the two.
The Our Mobile Planet report indicates that the impact of smartphones on users from across the world is changing the way we behave as consumers, which in turn will prove to be vital information for businesses looking to engage the new generation of mobile savvy customers.
Perhaps more important than the market penetration of smartphones is what people are actually using them to achieve.
Egyptian smartphone owners are the most prolific social network users, with 91 per cent choosing to access services like Facebook and Twitter via their handsets. Meanwhile information seekers are most common in Saudi Arabia, with 72 per cent of people checking up on web-based data using their mobile’s search tools.
Significantly for businesses, in France around 58 per cent of smartphone users will search for information on local companies and then actively visit their nearest location, which shows the potential for mobile devices to drive real world shopping habits.
The study found that smartphones are regularly used by people while they are getting on with another activity, with 86 per cent of owners indicating that they like to multitask in this manner.
51 per cent listen to music, 52 per cent watch TV, 17 per cent even manage to read a book and 28 per cent play video games, all while utilising functions of their smartphone at the same time.
This increasingly ingrained type of smartphone use, where the device becomes a constant companion that is turned to during other tasks, changes the way that consumers think about making purchases, according to the report.
100 per cent of Japanese smartphone owners questioned said that they research products and services via their mobile handsets before the commit to actually parting with any cash.
Meanwhile in Egypt, an incredible 36 per cent of smartphone users have visited a store with the intention of making one particular purchase only to change their minds and opt for a different project based on research conducted via their handsets.
The smartphone market has allowed people to take a multichannel approach to retail, with consumers choosing to look up product information on their portable device and then make the purchase either via a bricks and mortar outlet or through another online portal, such as a laptop or PC.
This does not even take into account the growing m-commerce market as a whole, which is making it possible for mobile users to enjoy impressive continuity between the desktop computer retail experience and the world of mobile apps and websites.
The essential finding of the report is that businesses will ignore smartphone adoption at their peril, since mobile phones are already widely used across the world and the penetration of multi-purpose handsets is becoming more prevalent, resulting in shifting trends.
Daisy Group plc a UK’s leading provider of business mobile phones providing the latest business mobile handsets and tariffs at competitive prices. As an Vodafone Premier Partner and O2 COE Daisy our mobile services can be tailored to meet business requirements. Business packages are designed to help keep business connected whether for a single user, a small- to medium-sized company or a large corporation.