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Harris Interactive Reports Different Priorities in Smartphone vs. Computer Use
[January 08, 2013]

Harris Interactive Reports Different Priorities in Smartphone vs. Computer Use

Jan 08, 2013 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) -- The Harris Poll tested smartphone owners' regular use of computers and smartphones for a series of tasks either product can complete, in order to find out, according to a release from Harris Interactive.

Many top uses for smartphones and computers are device-sensitive When smartphone owners are asked which of a set of actions (common to both devices) they regularly perform on a smartphone and/or on a computer, there are both divergences and similarities in how the two devices are used. For example, the immediate communication of text or instant messages is the most common smartphone use (87 percent) and the least common use for a computer (20 percent).

The Company said emails are the top use for computers (90 percent for all email uses combined). Email is still a highly used feature on smartphones (72 percent combined), though it is worth noting that reading emails (67 percent personal, 38 percent work) outpaces actually writing emails (56 percent personal, 32 percent work) on smartphones.

Smartphone owners also appear to favor computers for researching goods and services (81 percent / third most reported activity vs. 45 percent / eighth for smartphone use) and purchasing products or services such as clothing and holiday gifts (78 percent / fourth vs. 23 percent / 12th).

In contrast, mapping/navigation is among the top uses for smartphones (73 percent / second), but only a mid-tier use for computers (56 percent / seventh).

Social Media use is similar on both devices Despite the many differences between smartphone and computer use, combined social media interactions make for the fifth most frequent use for both a smartphone (64 percent) and a computer (69 percent). In both cases, reading posts (56 percent smartphone, 62 percent computer) is the top activity, followed by sharing (44 percent smartphone, 51 percent computer) and writing (43 percent smartphone, 50 percent computer). A similar percentage use their smartphones to check in (43 percent), while far fewer do so on computers (28 percent).

Children in household increase likelihood of nearly all activities on smartphones Smartphone owners with children in their household are significantly more likely than those without to indicate using smartphones for most of the activities tested, including mapping/navigation uses (79 percent among those w/ children in hh, 68 percent without), downloading free applications, music or videos (72 percent, 62 percent), combined social media use (72 percent, 59 percent), playing games (62 percent, 52 percent), researching goods or services (54 percent, 39 percent) and many others.

The Company said understanding what smartphones are used for is an integral part of designing a successful device. For example, the prevalence of text messaging calls for a well designed keyboard interface. Similarly, smartphone users' reliance on their devices for mapping and navigation services calls for either a well designed mapping interface or the ability to download one.

Furthermore, the prevalence of data-munching activities like texting, navigation, downloads, emailing speak directly to smartphone owners' data plan needs, and as reliance on these devices continues to grow both data plans and entire data networks may be affected in any number of ways.

Harris Interactive is a market research firm.

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