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How Consumers Use Their Smart Mobile Devices


Multifaceted mobile devices, such as smartphones, are now pervasive in many markets. Moreover, these coexist with various other types of mobile computing or communication devices. The trend in developed markets is clear -- consumers are likely purchasing these devices with specific primary use-case scenarios in mind.

Whether that preferred device is a laptop PC, smartphone, portable media player (PMPs), or media tablet depends on many factors. According to the findings from the latest market study by NPD In-Stat, they have been able to identify survey respondent's defining attitudes and behaviors toward these smart mobile devices.

One key finding was that the size of the screen tends to create an optimal use case for the device. Specifically, larger screen devices seem to fulfill productivity needs while smaller screen devices tend to satisfy communication or entertainment needs.

"The majority of tablet owners have a screen size between 9 and 11 inches -- a size optimized for sophisticated uses that require a lot of interaction," says Stephanie Ethier, Senior Analyst at NPD In-Stat.

The top uses for tablets are web browsing, email, and downloading and using applications, which are productivity-based uses. The larger screen supports more heavy text consumption and greater user interaction.

Portable media players, which can be virtually identical to tablets except for the smaller-than-5-inch screen, are used primarily to support entertainment-focused uses --such as listening to music and watching video.

Other findings from the market study include:
  • 47 percent of the respondents had a PMP with a screen size from 2.5 to less than 5 inches.
  • Apple iPad is the current overall favorite media tablet device.
  • 54 percent of the respondents cited personal information management as a top use for notebook and netbook PCs.
  • Smartphones are the most often used device while watching TV.

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