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Smartphone use soars

Almost half of Australia's adult population are already taking advantage of the wide availability of smartphones and their connectivity to the internet.

The ACMA's Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia  report examines what is driving the take-up of smartphones and tablets by Australians and what activities they use the devices for.

The report shows that at May 2012, over 8.67 million Australian adults owned a smartphone-up 104 per cent from the previous year and more than 4.37 million Australians were using a tablet.

Compared to other mobile phone users, smartphone users were:

  • nine times more likely to go online using their handsets
  • four times more likely to purchase goods online
  • three times more likely to stream or download audio or video content
  • three times more likely to pay bills online
  • twice as likely to access social networking sites.

The increased use of smartphones online has been facilitated through better access to the internet through the continued rollout of mobile networks, such as 4G, and the increased use of WiFi hotspots. In the June 2012 quarter, more than two million Australians used a WiFi hotspot-an increase of 32 per cent on the previous year.

In addition, the huge range of apps available for smartphones and tablets has enhanced their ease of use and functionality. The number of applications downloaded by smartphone users increased by 85 per cent during 2011-12, with over 4.45 million smartphone users downloading an app during that time.

Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia is the third complementary report in the ACMA's Communications report 2011-12 series, which examines the latest trends in Australia's digital environment. A report summary and the full report are available on the ACMA website.

The Communications report 2011-12 and the first two complementary reports-Online video content services in Australia: Latest developments in the supply and use of professionally produced online video services and Australia's progress in the digital economy: Participation, trust and confidence-are also available Word (.docx 275 kb),  PDF (1.7 mb).

Last updated: 31 August 2016

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