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Smart addicts

Look Up, a short film depicting the insidious nature of smartphone use in almost every aspect of our lives went viral last year: it has now had more than 46 million hits on YouTube. Ironic? Maybe. But was that the point? Tens of millions of people have watched it, eyes glued to their device, listening to its message: put down your phone; log off social media.

Although Look Up’s message no doubt resonated with a vast number of its viewers, the latest statistics reveal smart phone use remains more entrenched in our day-to-day lives than we might care to imagine. But for marketers, this means a huge opportunity to connect with consumers, at nearly any time of the day, or night, for that matter.

According to the latest research from Toluna, smartphone users in the United States are just as likely to check their smartphone as soon as they wake up as they are to logon before hitting the sack. They’re also the most likely cohort to pick up their device if they wake up during the night.

Here’s some food for thought:

*     In Singapore, 82 per cent of smartphone users check their device within 15 minutes of waking up

*     In Germany, 76 per cent of people check their smartphone within 15 minutes of going to bed

*     In the United States, 37 per cent of people check their smartphones if they wake up in the night

*     More than half of United States internet users report spending more than three hours per day online – 48 per cent of respondents in the United Kingdom reported the same levels of internet use


While these sorts of statistics aren’t available for New Zealand, we do know that as at the end of 2013, 64 per cent of the population aged between 15 and 65 owned a smartphone. By 2018, this is expected to reach 90 per cent, with 78 per cent of the population also owning a tablet.

According to Frost and Sullivan’s New Zealand Mobile Device Usage 2013 report, nearly half of smartphone users utilise their devices to engage with mobile media; more than 60 per cent log on to social media platforms via an app, and other activities such as job searching, house buying and car purchasing were flagged as common activities conducted on smartphones by New Zealand users.