SYDNEY, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- An increasing number of consumers are accessing a wide variety of digital content through a growing range of different mobile and connected devices including smartphones, tablets, notebooks. Frost & Sullivan's latest report, Australian Mobile Device Usage Trends report, published in August 2012 found that over two-thirds of Australians (68%) aged between 15 and 65 currently own a smartphone.
Frost & Sullivan estimates that smartphone ownership amongst the entire population is at 41% and predicts this to increase to 65% in 2017. In five years, it is likely that virtually all mobile phones will have smartphone functionality built-in.
"Smartphone penetration in Australia is expected to continue to increase where in two to three years time, the vast majority of Australians aged 15 to 65 will own one," says Phil Harpur, Senior Research Manager, Australia & New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan.
The launch of the iPhone in 2008 and then the iPad in 2010 heralded the beginning of a new era in the evolution of mobile devices. A new market segment has effectively been created, enabling a simple and easy way to access digital content such as news, gaming, video and music via both the internet and mobile applications.
"There has been a structural change in mobile phone user functionality. The mobile device has transitioned from a device primarily used for voice and text to a more sophisticated multi-functional device with usage patterns centered around mobile media capabilities," elaborates Harpur.
Accessing the weather, using maps, personal e-mail, playing games and purchasing apps, are an intrinsic part of smartphone usage. Accessing social networking has also become commonplace amongst smartphone users along with searching for jobs, houses to rent or cars to buy.
Watching short video clips on sites like YouTube is also now a mainstream activity on smartphones, though viewing long form content is less popular, but is becoming more common. Reading 'snackable' content like newspaper articles on smartphones is also now very popular.
Tablet ownership has also reached significant levels and the adoption rate is rapid, spurred by more manufacturers entering the market at lower price points. 20% of Australians aged between 15 and 65 currently own a tablet and 33% of all Australian households have at least one member who owns a tablet. The highest level of ownership is amongst the 25-44 age group.
"Tablets are fundamentally changing user behaviour patterns with 55% of tablet owners indicating that using a tablet has significantly or moderately reduced the amount of time they surf the internet on a PC or laptop. Tablet ownership is expected to continue to grow strongly over the next few years, increasing from 13% in 2012 to 29% in 2017," says Harpur.
Whilst the frequency and level at which Australians view news on smartphones and tablets still trails the traditional channels of TV and print, usage is expected to increase significantly over the next few years, and will eventually begin to challenge print as the most popular channel to access written content.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail with your contact details to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at [email protected].
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan