Majority of Planned Media Tablet Purchases Actually Happened
Amongst Australian mobile phone users, 38% now own a tablet as well, a a substantial increase from last year's figure of 16 percent, according to an annual survey by the AIMIA. An additional 33 percent of survey respondents were planning to purchase a tablet within the next 12 months. Interestingly, when looking back at last year's report, results suggest that most of the 2011 "planned" purchases translated to actual purchases and ownership in 2012.
Dr Marisa Maio Mackay, Director of Complete the Picture Consulting, the official research partner for the 2012 AMPLI report, said, "Given the emerging use of tablets, the full story on the relationship between mobile phone and tablet use is still evolving. We're seeing phenomenal growth in tablets, but of course smartphone usage is still on a steady incline."
"What's most interesting from this year's report is that we're seeing potential for the mobile phone and the tablet to be complementary devices. This is exciting news for developers and brands with cross platform ideas. When we asked people to predict how they expected to use their phones in future, there was not a huge difference between tablet owners and non-tablet owners," said Dr Maio Mackay.
Apple iPads were clearly the most popular brand of tablets with just over 75 percent of tablet owners owning an iPad. Just under half of the respondents had both WiFi and 3G enabled tablets, while 50 percent of the respondents had Wi-Fi only enabled tablets.
The introduction of the tablet has had some impact on mobile phone use. Approximately one third of respondents who owned a tablet reported their use of the mobile phone for getting information, for entertainment and for visiting websites and/or browsing or searching the Internet has decreased as a consequence of buying a tablet. However, other respondents (approximately 12-13 percent) reported an increase in the use of their mobile phone for the same purposes since acquiring their tablets.
The popularity of tablet apps has not impacted the level of website visits on tablets. Websites are still being visited by almost all respondents on the Tablet.
Smartphone ownership increases
Not surprisingly, this year's report sees another increase in the percentage of respondents who own a smartphone. Seventy six percent of all respondents own a smartphone, up from 67 percent in 2011.
Of those respondents who do not own a smartphone, 40 percent plan to purchase one in the next 12 months. Based on the survey results, 80 percent of respondents would own a smartphone by end of 2012 and 84 percent would own a smartphone by mid-2013.
The results show a clear and steady increase in the popularity of Apple handsets over the last four years. Samsung and HTC phones have experienced much slower growth, while many of the other brands have been losing market share.
Banking and shopping online growing in popularity
With the continual steady increase in smartphone use across the Australian population, a new wave of users is discovering the potential to use their phones for online banking and shopping.
Dr Maio Mackay said, "By looking specifically at the habits of frequent users when analysing results, we can start to pinpoint emerging trends. The results this year indicate a growing group of people using banking almost as though it's an embedded function of their phone. Almost 40 percent of respondents are using their phones for banking at least once a week, an increase of about 15 percent since last year"
Carrier Satisfaction Remains Low
Last year's AMPLI survey saw satisfaction levels for almost every service type decrease considerably when compared to previous years. The 2012 results have remained at a fairly similar level to last year, with minimal evidence of recovery. However, this year's results show substantial variation in satisfaction across the carriers when it came to specific services.
Mobile Phones play a role in Purchasing Decisions
For the first time, this year's survey looked at how Australians are using their mobile phones to make purchase decisions. The results show approximately 40 percent of respondents use their mobile phone to compare prices online and to look at product or service reviews before making a purchase decision.
Acceptance of advertising on the rise
Compared to last year there has been an increase in the overall proportion of respondents who had opted in to receive SMS or MMS messages from businesses; from 47 percent last year to 57 percent this year.
The overall average level of engagement was 54 percent. This means that if the respondents saw an advertisement, there was just over 50 percent chance that they would engage. Conversely there is just less than 50 percent (i.e., 46 percent) chance that they would not engage.
The AMPLI report is a collaborative industry research project carried out by the Mobile Industry Group (MIG), a special interest group of AIMIA. The report is authored by official research partner Complete the Picture Consulting. The official sponsors of the AMPLI report are Nokia, BigPond, Zeus Unwired and the Mnet Group.