Are You Having an Affair with Your Phone?

Market research company Synovate released findings from a wide-ranging survey of 8,000 mobile phone users in 11 countries (504 respondents in the US). The markets included Canada, Denmark, France, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK and US. Here are some of the top-level findings (largely verbatim):

  • 82% of Americans never leave home without their phones
  • 36% of people across the world (42% of Americans) say they 'cannot live without' their cell phones
  • Almost 50% report sleeping with their phones "nearby"

More than two phones + smartphones:

  • 23% said they own more than two mobile phones. Americans and the French are more likely to own more than one phone
  • UK and US mobile users are most likely to own a smartphone: 21% and 20% respectively

Most used features:

Beyond voice and text messaging, the most regularly used phone features were:

  • Alarm clock – 67% globally use this regularly / 56% of Americans
  • Camera – 62% globally / 68% of Americans
  • Games – 33% globally / 31% of Americans

Mobile Internet access:

  • 17% of respondents use email on their mobile on a regular basis: 26% in the US and 25% in the UK
  • 17% access the mobile Internet: UK at 31%, US at 26%
  • 11% say they social network regularly via mobile: UK (17%), US (15%)

SMS behavior, dating and lying: 

  • 31% of people across 11 markets have lied about their whereabouts via text
  • 20% have set up a first date and 12% have broken up with someone by text
  • 20% have set up a first date, including 9% of Americans
  • 12% have broken up with someone via text, led by 23% of Filipinos. Just 4% of Americans have done this
  • 35% agreed that they have hidden behind text to say no or send a difficult message, led by 49% of Filipinos.
  • Least likely to hide behind text are Canadians (79% say they haven't done this) and Americans (71%). 31% agreed they have lied about why they were running late or where they are, led by 57% of Filipinos. Least likely to lie via text (or so they say) are the Dutch (84% say they haven't) and the Americans (79%)

What these data show (once again) is that people find their mobile phones an indispensible piece of personal technology and communications tool. They love them; they're more attached to them than the PC.

The figures above on mobile Internet access are consistent with what we've independently found -- 27% of US users accessing the Internet on their mobile phones. We also found an identical number regarding social network access via mobile phone among US users: 15%