Google survey suggests many smartphones have dumb owners

I've been pressing this Apple button all day, but the screen stays black
I've been pressing this Apple button all day, but the screen stays black

A study by Google and Ipsos into US mobile behaviour has thrown up the kind of findings that suggests a broad section of users don't really understand what they are doing

The "The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users" study is of more than 5,000 US smartphone owners and, although Google draws its conclusion from what people are actually using their phones from it's even more interesting what percentage are not using the familiar features.

So, the assertions that 81 per cent of smartphone owners browse the internet, 77 per cent search and 68 per cent use an app raise some interesting questions.


It's a little worrying that 19 per cent of smartphone users don't use the internet application, and the fact that 32 per cent – a staggering percentage – don't use an app is, well, mystifying.

Considering apps are massively important to a smartphone , you do wonder if the people surveyed understood the survey questions, or if it's true that just under a third of people are forking out for a posh phone when they could have been better served by a feature phone.

And, given the previous findings, the fact that 95 per cent of those surveyed have used their smartphone to look up local information does beg the question – 'using what?'.

Video usage

That 48 per cent of people use a video makes a lot more sense, and is perhaps illustrative of the fact that mobile video usage is hampered by costs and the difficulties in converting home libraries for use on portable devices.

And seven per cent of the participants in the survey claim they don't use their smartphone at home.

"Smartphones have become an integral part of users' daily lives," suggests Google.

"Consumers use smartphones as an extension of their desktop computers and use it as they multi-task and consume other media."

Given the downright odd findings you might be forgiven for suggesting that some of these smartphones are considerably smarter than their owners.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.