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MobilePossePMI-Smartphone-Users-and-Downtime-Dec2013A new study [download page] finds that smartphone users pick up their devices 27 times per day, but cites other research showing that the average number of times could range from 14 all the way to 150 times per day. The report, conducted by Mobile Posse and Phoenix Marketing International, indicates that 42% of respondents strongly agree that they pick up their phones when they have time to kill, with relatively fewer (23%) strongly agreeing that they pick their phones up only when they have something specific to do.

“Found time” – times during the day when device owners have nothing to do, such as while they’re waiting in line – is a particularly strong driver of smartphone use for women and youth, per the study. Almost half of women surveyed strongly agreed that they pick up their phone when they have time to kill, as did 55% of 18-34-year-olds and 54% of those with more than 30 applications installed on their phones.

The IAB UK found similar results in a recent study: 52% of UK smartphone owners surveyed said they would prefer to check their phone during any downtime rather than sit and think.

In other words – smartphone owners willingly are “always on.”

Another reason why smartphones owners pick up their devices: notifications. Roughly one-third of the Mobile Posse survey respondents strongly agreed that they pick up their phone immediately after getting a notification. (That’s a good explanation for why app users who opt-in to push notifications average more app opens per month than those who don’t receive the messages.) Moreover, 51% strongly agree that whenever they pick up their phone, the first thing they do is check to see if they missed an alert or notification.

Which types of alerts are smartphone users most likely to receive? Not surprisingly, the vast majority receive some sort of alert for missed calls (92%) and texts (88%), with email (81%) not far behind. Other categories in which a majority receive an alert include updates for mobile apps (67%), social (65%) and weather (60%).

About the Data: Phoenix Marketing International utilized its Consumer Convergence 360 online platform to survey 1,000 smartphone users about their mobile behavior, home screen usage and future desires.

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