It’s not good to talk: Making calls is fifth most frequent UK smartphone activity, according to O2

It may not surprise you all that much, but new data from O2 indicates that people much prefer to use their mobile phones these days for anything other than talking to people.

The UK mobile operator has revealed that making calls has become the fifth most frequent use for the newly-networked generation of smartphone users in terms of time spent. So what trumps talking? Let’s take a look.

It’s (not) good to talk…

Browsing the Internet is the most frequent activity on smartphones these days, accounting for 25 minutes a day, while more specifically, checking social networking sites accounts for 17.5 minutes of our time. Listening to music (15.5) and playing games (14.5) were also more popular than good old-fashioned voice calls, which apparently people only spend a little more than 12 minutes a day doing.

It’s worth noting that these are all averages – I know I spend a hell of a lot more than 25 minutes a day on the mobile Internet. Though I probably spend more like 8 minutes a day on average using it as a telephone.

According to O2’s ‘All About You’ report, which was based on a survey involving 2,000 people, we spend around 2 hours a day on average using our smartphones, which also includes other activities such as testing, emailing, reading books and taking photographs.

“Smartphones are now being used like a digital ‘Swiss Army Knife’, replacing possessions like watches, cameras, books and even laptops,” says David Johnson, General Manager Devices for O2 in the UK. “While we’re seeing no let-up in the number of calls customers make or the amount of time they spend speaking on their phones, their phone now plays a far greater role in all aspects of their lives.”

O2 commissioned the report to mark the launch of the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the all-singing, all-dancing device that looks set to cement the Korean mobile manufacturer’s position at the forefront of the smartphone market. The report also found that smartphones are replacing other possessions including alarm clocks, watches, cameras, diaries and even laptops and TVs as they become more intuitive and easier to use for things beyond calls.

  • Over half (54%) say they use their phones in place of an alarm clock
  • Almost half (46%) use their smartphone instead of a watch
  • Two-in-five (39%) use their phone instead of a dedicated camera
  • Over one quarter use their phone instead of a laptop (28%)
  • One in ten have gotten ride of a games console in favour of their smartphone (11%)
  • Perhaps indicative of where things are moving, one in twenty smartphone users have switched to use their phone in place of a TV (6%) or reading physical books (6%)

“We’re starting to see more and more phones being developed that interact with their users in new and interesting ways,” adds Johnson. “Intelligent voice recognition and eye tracking are making phones even easier to use and we know our customers will love them.”

Feature Image Credit: Macinate | Flickr