OnQ Blog

Top 5 Uses For Smartphones and Tablets

Aug 28, 2012

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

When you need info from the web, do you reach for your smartphone or tablet? What about when you want to check in on Facebook? Watch a video? Book travel? Relax, we’re not asking you to make Sophie's Choice. It’s just that people tend to favor specific activities depending on what type of mobile device they have in their hands. A recent Keynote survey of more than 5,300 people (more than 3,000 smartphone users and nearly 2,000 tablet users) shed some light on what exactly what people are doing with their mobile devices.

In brief, the survey found that the top 5 activities for smartphones users are:

  1. Accessing local information
  2. Searching for information
  3. Participating on social media/networking sites
  4. Reading news and entertainment
  5. Finding local services

With tablets in hand, people tend to do the same things in a slightly different order of preference:

  1. Reading news and entertainment
  2. Searching for information
  3. Watching videos
  4. Accessing local information
  5. Participating on social media/networking sites

Watching videos on a tablet makes sense, as larger screens tend to make the viewing experience more enjoyable. And the fact that “finding local services” wasn’t among the top five things to do with a tablet suggests that people prefer navigation on their smartphones rather than lugging around a more “hefty” device.

We thought the real eye-opener of the survey—mobile industry take note—was the “top frustration” among smartphone and tablet users: They want a faster mobile web experience. Sixty-six percent of smartphone users surveyed said they wanted a site to load in less than four seconds (and just over a quarter of those smartphone users surveyed reported using 4G). Sixty percent of tablet users want a subthree second download. This common frustration among device users justifies the investments that leading operators and manufacturers are making in network optimizations and faster mobile processors, respectively.

Another survey that caught our eye came out from comScore. It sampled 6,000 U.S. tablet owners and categorized them into three types: iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire. (Even though the Kindle is based on Android, comScore chose to separate it from the other tablets based on Google's OS).

The survey revealed some interesting insights into tablet owners’ behavior: 

  1. Overall, the selection of apps and price were the two most important purchase considerations, with both categories receiving a 7.7 importance rating on a scale of 1 to 10
  2. Among iPad owners, app availability received an 8.1 and price received a 7.2
  3. iPad owners also viewed brand, OS, and music and video capabilities more important than price
  4. Android and Kindle Fire owners rated price as more important, giving price a 7.9 and 8.1 (respectively) versus app availability at 7.3 and 7.5
  5. Android owners viewed price as more important than the OS

So do the stats depict iPad owners as free-spending, superficial, playboys and playgirls? And are Android/Kindle owners price-conscious, art-hating, utilitarian types? Maybe, maybe not—we’re not going to judge people… but there are some definite Android and iPad user stereotypes.

Oh, one last thing. The comScore survey reported that all three groups agreed on the least important purchase consideration: recommendations from salespeople—our apologies to sales associates everywhere.


 H/T: GigaOM, CIO, Anandtech, Mashable, Lost Sheep Productions



Engage with us on


Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Anthony Eng

Senior Marketing Mgr., Qualcomm Technologies