Understanding the uses, motivators, and characteristics associated with these new forms of communications is important for an individual’s adaptation to these new technologies. This study was done to identify smartphone usage and information associated with a sample population of Facebook, Internet users, and ECPI University students. The study is an attempt to provide general information on the use of Smartphones today as well as some of the motivators behind usage. Specifically, we examine age and gender demographic differences with regard to a wide range of mobile phone uses.
Did you ever wonder what makes a cell phone different from a smartphone? And what makes a smartphone so smart? According to Beal (2010): A cell phone is a device that individuals can use to make telephone calls but has little if any advanced features. A smartphone is a device on which you can make telephone calls, but also combines features that individuals would have found on a computer or a personal digital assistant (PDA). Some features that are found on the smartphones are the capability to receive and send emails, access Word documents, and surf the Internet.
According to Klemens (2011), cell phones were used just for making phone calls. PDA’s were used for managing documents and used as a Palm computer. As technology progressed, both PDA’s and cell phones gained wireless connectivity. Cellular phone features, such as making phone calls, were added to the PDA’s. Cell phones added more computer-like features such as sending and receiving emails. The mesh of the two devices resulted in a smartphone. What makes a smartphone smart? According to Coustan and Strickland (2011): A smartphone will be based on its operating system (OS) that allows it to run applications.
Blackberry smartphones run on the Blackberry OS, the Apple iPhone runs on the iOS, and other smartphones run on the Microsoft Windows, the Android OS, and the HP webOS. A smartphone allows an individual to view, create, and edit documents. Smartphones allow individuals to download applications, such as games, movies driving directions, and social networking. Many smartphones access the Web at higher speeds. In addition to accessing the Web, many smartphones support Wi-Fi connectivity.
In this section, the mentioned activities and variables associated with this research will be introduced. First the differing smartphones are briefly discussed. The activities used on smartphones and cell phones such as applications (apps) and games, and phone usages are then presented. Our review of the literature shows that there have been various studies that have explored smartphone usage, age, and gender differences. The data compiled from previous studies generally failed to find underlying and root causal motivations for usage by consumers of various demographics.
Our study starts with an exploration of the male vs. female factor, the age range factor, and how they compare and contrast in the debate of why people buy smartphones. We feel our data is reflective of standard science research methods and can be expanded on for further scientific studies. A survey was prepared and pretested utilizing Facebook accounts. The survey was modified based on preliminary testing. It was again administered by web location and through Facebook accounts and received 115 responses from varying locations across the United States and of various demographic backgrounds.
Software used in the study was Survey Monkey. It should be noted that Gender (Figure 1) was biased towards females but did include a significant number of males. Figure 1 Gender Figure 2 Age Range Age ranges (Figure 2) were representative of varying demographic populations within the United States and were consistent with the 2010 Census Bureau data. Figure 3 Most important choice factors Respondent data (Figure 3) showed the primary reason for smartphone choice was due enormously to phone features and applications available for the smartphone.
Smartphone usage data was broken down into 10 categories (Figure 4) with the top 4 being Internet, messaging, email, and social networking. It should be noted that the top 4 are essentially applications that are primarily done from computers and when applied to smartphones, mobility and ease of access is increased significantly.