Analysis

2017 global mobile consumer survey: US edition

The dawn of the next era in mobile

The connected universe continues to evolve with the smartphone in its center. More than ever, consumer habits and telecom trends are in focus and poised to fuel the growth, with 5G on the horizon, and many Internet of Things (IoT) applications in development.

Mobile usage habits form the device etiquette

Survey results show that usage habits are maturing and becoming better defined leading to a naturally developed device etiquette. Overall, the number of times users look at their phones has remained nearly constant for the past three years at approximately 47 times per day. Similarly, 89 percent of consumers looked at their phones within an hour of waking up, a yearly increase of only one percent. Before going to sleep 81 percent looked at their phones within an hour, consistent with 2016.

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2017 global mobile consumer survey: US edition

Device ownership on the rise

Smartphone penetration increased to 82 percent overall. Although the younger generation still has the highest ownership percentage with 93 percent, the strongest growth is among those ages 55 and older. Overall growth rates for wearables have slowed slightly after two years of double-digit growth.

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Device ownership (percentage)

We call, text, watch, read, and browse

All communication services are on the rise. This is especially noteworthy for voice calls, which increased to 86 percent usage after a four-year decline. Younger generations, especially 25-34 year olds, prefer more cutting edge communication services such as group video calls and voice over IP.

When it comes to additional uses, "reading the news" is the most regularly used daily activity and navigation is the most used overall. Although TV services are some of the least used activities, there was a dramatic shift in 2017 to long-form video with 31 percent of the consumers streaming films on mobile phones compared to the 22 percent last year.

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Mobile payments are on track

mPayments continued to gain popularity. In fact, 29 percent of consumers report making an in-store mobile payment. This is up nearly 50 percent from 2016. The key barriers to greater adoption of mPayments remain the concerns about security and a lack of understanding of its potential benefits.

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Wi-Fi edges out a lead over 4G

For the first time in recent years, this year's survey found 4G has slipped slightly behind Wi-Fi in terms of overall performance. With 5G network deployments which will offer substantially higher data speeds than 4G are potentially starting in 2018, the report notes that the interplay between mobile and Wi-Fi could be poised for a substantive shift next year in network preferences back toward mobile.

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Internet of Things (IoT) full speed ahead

In terms of near-term consumer interest, connected car and connected entertainment has surpassed the connected home. All individual categories of car and wearables IoT have improved. Similarly, those not finding value in connected car functions has decreased from 32 percent to 14 percent.

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Machine learning is already here

Although most consumers are not aware of many machine learning capabilities 68 percent of consumers are already using some form of artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) on their smartphones. The highest use categories include predictive text, driving route suggestions, and voice assistants.

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Download the 2017 global mobile consumer survey infographic

How many times would you estimate you look at your phone in a day?

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