Are you a mobile addict?

  • AFP
  • Updated: Apr 24, 2014 14:55 IST

If you're a smartphone-owning mom, aged between 35 and 55 and like sports, gaming or are interested in gaming, then the answer is very likely a resounding "yes."

But what is a mobile addict? According to Flurry Analytics, it's someone who launches and uses smartphone or tablet apps at least six times more than the global average which, according to its data drawn from 500,000 apps installed on 1.3 billion devices, currently stands at 10 times a day.

Sixty times a day may sound like a lot and like an activity so time consuming that ‘addicts' would make up a very small percentage of global smartphone and tablets owners, but, there are already 176 million consumers around the world that fit the profile (that's over 12% of the global smartphone and tablet population) and the number is growing -- fast.

Only 12 months ago, 79 million people fell into the same addict category meaning that there has been a 123 % jump in addiction since 2013 and those on the edge -- i.e., using apps between 16 and 60 times a day -- are also growing in number: 440 million people fall into this category (up from 283 million in 2013).

And, with so much data to draw from, Flurry has been able to build a picture of the typical app addict. They are more likely to be female (52%), meaning that there are 15 million more women than men that can't stop using their phone.

When it comes to age, the over 55s are the least likely to be addicted to apps and, at 49% more likely young people aged between 18 and 24 the most addicted. However, 35-54-year-olds also over-index (40% more likely) and as Flurry points out, that age group constitutes just 20 % of the average mobile customer yet represents 28 % of all mobile addicts.

Digging deeper still, as well as being at college or being middle-aged, the male smartphone or tablet user is four times more likely to be an addict if they're a catalogue shopper, six times more likely if they're into gaming, seven times more likely if into parenting and education but most likely (nine times) if they're auto enthusiasts.

The female persona is surprisingly similar in some respects -- gaming (seven times more likely) and parenting and education (also seven times more likely). However, it appears that being a mom is the biggest factor, making a user 10 times more likely to be an addict.

Of the results, Flurry says that there is little surprise that the digital native generation of teens and college-age consumers are addicts, seeing as mobile is part of their lives.

However, the same can't be said of the fact that middle-aged people and especially moms are the biggest addicts.

"When we inspected the Personas of that segment and their app usage, we came to the conclusion that these middle-aged consumers are probably part of a family and their devices are likely shared among multiple family members, including their children. Males and females in the Middle Age segment both over-indexed on parenting and education. Males over indexed as Catalogue Shoppers and females over indexed on Sports. The picture we formed is a family of four, with two phones, one tablet, and all three devices shared by the family for education, entertainment and more utilitarian functions as well," the report concludes.

But as well as giving the world a glimpse into the extremes of mobile behavior, the report also suggests that consumers are getting ready for wearable technology devices -- after all, accessing apps 60 times+ every day is the equivalent of wearing the phone.

Let's hope that the next batch of smartwatches ready to hit retailers this summer courtesy of Motorola and LG are as focused on auto apps, gaming, online shopping and parenting as they are on health and fitness if they hope to succeed.

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