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'Smartphones are the new Swiss Army Knife'

gadgets Updated: Jul 04, 2012 13:17 IST

Smartphones have become a ‘digital Swiss Army Knife' -- a multipurpose device that is replacing other devices such as cameras, watches and books, according to a new report from mobile phone provider 02 UK.

The report found that smartphone owners spent an average of two hours per day using their device and that the majority of this time, nearly 25 minutes, was spent browsing the internet. The second most popular activity, in terms of time spent, was "checking social networks" (nearly 18 minutes), followed by "listening to music" (nearly 16 minutes). Traditional mobile phone uses -- making calls and sending text messages accounted for just 12.13 and 10.2 minutes respectively.

The report found that 54 percent of smartphone owners use their device in place of an alarm clock, 46 percent use it in place of a watch and 39 percent use their phone in place of a separate camera.

In fact the report found that "taking photos" was the most popular use for a smartphone, in terms of functions used by smartphone owners, even above "making phone calls" and "text messaging."

Speaking with regards to the multiple uses of smartphones General Manager Devices for O2 in the UK David Johnson stated, "Smartphones are now being used like a digital ‘Swiss Army Knife', replacing possessions like watches, cameras, books and even laptops."

The idea that smartphones are replacing other devices was reflected in a March 22 report by analysts comScore which found that across the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) 11.8 percent of smartphone owners read the news on their device, either via an app or a browser, "almost every day," representing an increase of 82 percent from January 2011-2012.

According to the O2 report the most popular uses of a smartphone by time spent per day are:

01. Browsing the internet (24.81)
02. Checking social networks (17.49)
03. Listening to music (15.64)
04. Playing games (14.44)
05. Making calls (12.13)
06. Checking/writing emails (11.1)
07. Text messaging (10.2)
08. Watching TV/films (9.39)
09. Reading books (9.3)
10. Taking photographs (3.42)

These findings come from the report ‘All About You,' commissioned by O2 and funded by Samsung to mark the launch of the Samsung Galaxy SIII and released June 29. The results were taken from a sample of 2000 UK smartphone users across all mobile networks.