IDG Survey Reveals the New Trends in Mobile Ownership and Use

Mobile experts including our own David Murphy discuss IDGs findings at the London launch
Mobile experts including our own David Murphy discuss IDGs findings at the London launch

IDG Global Solutions has released its fifth annual Global Mobile Survey, the biggest ever study of consumer and business use of mobile devices, showing that mobile continues to grow and replace both traditional media and personal computers.

The research showed a dramatic increase in mobile video consumption, with 74 per cent of respondents watching online video via a smartphone, compared with 61 per cent in 2012. Mobile devices have also created a significant blurring of the boundaries between business and personal life, with 80 per cent of respondents using tablets to research products or services for business in the evening.

The survey, which was conducted among over 23,500 executives and consumers across 43 countries, focused on four key areas – mobile use by executives, mobile use for business purposes, how use differs between Generation X and millennials, and how audiences are using multi-screening in their daily lives.

Among executives, smartphones have become a critical tool, 92 per cent using a smartphone for business and 77 per cent using it to research products or services for their businesses. 13 per cent reported making business purchases worth from $1,000 to $5,000 (£590 to £2,940) via their mobile phones.

Among business users, tablet ownership has exploded, rising from 20 per cent in 2011 to 61 per cent this year. In Latin America, 41 per cent of respondents had replaced their laptop computer with a tablet. Purchasing IT products using mobiles and tablets was a common theme, with software and computer accessories the most frequently purchased across all regions.

Examining the differing uses among different age groups, the survey found that smartphone ownership was almost universal among 18-34 year olds. There was a distinct split in tablet ownership among age groups; only 38 per cent of 18-24 year olds owned tablets, but this figure jumped to 55 per cent among 25-34 year olds, reflecting the higher price of tablets.

Multi-screening was popular among all respondents, with 58 per cent using another device (usually a television) at the same time as their smartphone, rising to 61 per cent while using tablets. Unfortunately for many marketers, the survey showed that the majority of multi-screen activity is unrelated, with little correlation between the actions users took on their mobile devices and what they were watching on the television.