Australians embrace mobile applications | ACMA

Australians embrace mobile applications

ACMA Media Release 134- 15 December 2011

Accessing online services via mobile phones (such as mobile apps) is becoming increasingly popular for Australians. During the month of June 2011, 3.9 million people aged 14 years and over went online via their mobile phone - a 63 per cent increase on the previous June. In particular, 72 per cent of smartphone users downloaded a mobile app in the six months to April 2011.

These are some of the findings from an Australian Communications and Media Authority report, The emerging mobile telecommunications service market in Australia, released today.

As at April 2011, the report also found that 37 per cent of mobile phone users have a smartphone and 58 per cent have a 3G phone. Young adults lead in the adoption of smartphones, with 59 per cent of mobile phone users aged 18-24 having a smartphone as at April 2011. Ninety per cent of smartphone users went online via their mobile handset in the six months to April 2011.

'The rising popularity of smartphones, in parallel with increased mobile phone data allowances and network capabilities, is encouraging the accessing of online services by mobile,' said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. 'The mobile phone is a fully fledged participant in the digital economy, as it is becoming a converged device that more and more consumers use to access functions other than just voice.

'Internet access has become an integral feature of the mobile phone, and this has been complemented by the development of an array of mobile applications-which allow users access to specific services at the touch of a screen.'

The report notes that mobile applications enable use of services such as online banking and shopping.

'They also have the potential to disrupt current industry service models, for example with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) delivered via the mobile handset and the provision of free mobile messaging applications,' Mr Chapman said.

According to the report, the numbers of Australians using the internet via their mobile phone during June 2011 on specific tasks were estimated as follows:

  • 1.55 million used social networking services via their mobile phone handsets
  • 751,000 used banking and bill payment services
  • 555,000 streamed videos or movies
  • 304,000 streamed audio content
  • 274,000 used a VoIP service via their mobile phone handset
  • 100,000 purchased a good or service online

The emerging mobile telecommunications service market in Australia report is the last of three reports to be published under the ACMA's Communications report series 2010-11. The two earlier reports in this series were:

  • Report 1-E-commerce marketplace in Australia: Online shopping, released 16 November 2011
  • Report 2-Converging communications channels: Preferences and behaviours of Australian communications users, released 8 December 2011.

The three reports complement the ACMA Communications Report 2010-11 which is produced to fulfil its reporting obligations under section 105 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. The Communications report was released on 12 December 2011 after tabling in Parliament by Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

More generally, the ACMA's research is intended to build an evidence base to better inform its development of advice and regulation.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or

The ACMA is Australia's regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA's strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia's public interest. For more information:

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Last updated: 15 April 2016