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Samsung Galaxy SIII has heralded the latest in a wave of smartphones with a focus “beyond calls” – handsets created specifically for a new generation of users with new demands of their phones. According to an O2 report, on average, smartphone owners spend over two hours a day using their phones. phone camsm


However, the research found making calls comes just fifth in a ranking of things they are used for. Smartphone users spend more time browsing the Internet (25 minutes a day), social networking (17 minutes a day), playing games (13 minutes a day) and listening to music (16 minutes a day) than they do making calls (12 minutes).

How long we spend using our smartphones (by activity) each day

Phone Usage

David Johnson, general manager devices for O2 in the UK, says: “Smartphones are being used like a digital ‘Swiss Army Knife’, replacing possessions like watches, cameras, books and laptops. While we’re seeing no let-up in the number of calls customers make or the amount of time they spend speaking on phones, their phone now plays a far greater role.”

The report also found for many people the smartphone is replacing other possessions including alarm clocks, watches, cameras, diaries and even laptops and TVs, as they become more intuitive and easier to use for things “beyond calls”.


The phone has also started to replace a range of other possessions:

  • Over half (54%) say they use their phones in place of an alarm clock
  • Almost half (46%) have dispensed with a watch in favour of using their smartphone
  • Two-in-five (39%) have switched to use their phone instead of a separate camera
  • Over one quarter use their phone instead of a laptop (28%)
  • One in ten have got shot of a games console in favour of their handset (11%)
  • Perhaps indicative of where things are moving, one in twenty smartphone users have switched to use their phone in place of a TV (6%) or reading physical books (6%)

There has been a rise in demand for phones that behave more like devices that know, understand and respond to their users. More sophisticated and personalised touch screen functions are the latest innovations handset makers have developed in response to consumer demand.

“We’re starting to see more and more phones being developed that interact with their users in new and interesting ways. Intelligent voice recognition and eye tracking are making phones even easier to use and we know our customers will love them,” adds Johnson.


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