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Mobile devices and their owners: a close relationship

business Updated: Feb 14, 2013 12:26 IST
Kennel Club

In news that will no doubt upset both the Kennel Club and De Beers, a man's best friend is no longer his dog and women are choosing smartphones and tablets over diamonds.

So close has the relationship between devices and their owners become that most consumers admit to spending almost every waking minute of their lives with either their smartphone or their tablet -- turning to them for advice, for company and to combat boredom.

A survey of more than 1,000 American smartphone and tablet owners aged 18 and over, commissioned by Citrix, reveals that these devices have become so ingrained in the average user's life that it has been one day or less since they last ate a meal without checking their handset. When asked the primary reason for using their mobile devices, the top answer, cited by 64 percent of respondents, was "to keep myself from being bored." The next most popular reason, "to bring friends or family together," was cited by just 32 percent of those questioned, leading Citrix to infer that many US consumers are "hanging out" with their smartphone or tablet rather than with a ‘real' friend. This belief is further supported by the fact that 55 percent of respondents said put more faith in "how to" advice obtained from the internet than from their own parents.

Almost half (46%) of those surveyed also admitted to using their devices for surreptitiously watching reality TV shows they would not claim to watch in public. The most popular secret show was "Pawn Stars" (36%), followed by "Storage Wars" (32%) and "The Real Housewives" (28%).

Other interesting findings include respondents' growing impatience with loading and buffering of content: 30 percent of those surveyed are only prepared to wait 8 seconds for a mobile webpage to load and 72 percent will abandon downloading a large file if the download speed appears slow. What's more, 51 percent of respondents believe a slow-loading page is their network provider's fault, while the other 49 percent blame the website.

Of the results, Mick Hollison, vice president of Integrated Marketing and Strategy, Citrix, said: "These survey findings confirm suspicions that most of us are rendered completely helpless when separated from our mobile devices, perhaps even more than when we are pulled apart from our best friends."