Media Release, 20 March 2012

The nation’s obsession with mobile internet-connected ‘smartphones’ like the Apple® iPhone™ and the HTC Desire has reached new heights, with Australians admitting to using their devices in bed, on the loo and, alarmingly, when behind the wheel according to Telstra research released today.

Telstra Consumer Executive Director Rebekah O'Flaherty, said the inaugural Telstra Smartphone Index revealed the average Australian had entered a new age in which smartphones go literally wherever they do.

“Whether we’re at home in front of the tele, in the bathroom or in bed, Telstra’s research suggests smartphones have become an indispensible way for Aussies to get connected and access the information, entertainment and news that matters to them,” Ms O'Flaherty said.

“Over the past 12 months we’ve seen huge growth in the popularity of smartphones and they now make up more than half of all Next G™ handset sales in Telstra Stores Australia-wide.

Telstra’s Smartphone Index reveals:

  • Smartphones are our new bed buddy: More than half of smartphone owners admit to using their smartphone in bed, with women the most likely offenders (54 per cent versus 49 per cent of men).
  • We love throne-surfing: Almost one third of Aussies have used their smartphone to surf the web while on the toilet – although only one per cent admit to doing so regularly. Additionally, men are more avid loo-surfers (38 per cent have used their smartphone on the toilet versus 22 per cent of women).
  • Smartphones don’t make us smart drivers: Alarmingly, one in five Australian drivers admit to surfing the web on their smartphone while driving – despite this being illegal in all states and territories.
  • Smartphones are not just for Generation Ys. Almost one in five Aussie smartphone owners are over 50, and 41 per cent are over 40.

According to Ms O'Flaherty, increased smartphone ownership is changing the way Australians access online content.

“Telstra’s Smartphone Index suggests smartphones are beginning to eclipse PCs as the preferred way of accessing certain online content. Almost one in four smartphone owners visit social networking sites like Facebook® on their mobiles more than on a computer. Surprisingly, we also found around 10 per cent are more likely to do their online banking from their phone than on their PC,” she said.

The research also found: 

  • 36 per cent of Australians with mobile phones own a smartphone.
  • Smartphone ownership is expected to grow to more than half the Australian mobile population within 12 months.
  • Males are bigger smartphone fans with 43 per cent of mobile-using males owning smartphones vs 31 per cent of females.
  • Almost a third of smartphone web-surfers access social networking sites like Facebook® or Telstra’s Tribe® service every day. Females check social networking sites more regularly on their mobiles than males (34 per cent vs 29 per cent on a daily basis).
  • Almost one third of Aussies surfing the web on their smartphones visit sports sites like BigPond® Sport weekly.
  • More than one third visit sites like Whereis® Maps weekly to get directions and almost one in five visit directory sites like Yellow Pages® each week.
  • Almost a third of Aussies believe they usually surf the web on their smartphone at home, versus commuting (13 per cent) or during work hours in the office (12 per cent). 

About the Research: This research was conducted online by The Nielsen Company on behalf of Telstra in June 2010 on a representative sample of 2,800 Australians, aged over 18, from across Australia in both metropolitan and regional areas. 

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