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Harris-Regular-Activities-Computer-v-Smartphone-Jan2013While there are some similarities in how smartphone owners use their computers and how they use their mobile devices, there are also some stark differences that highlight the relative strengths and weaknesses of each device, finds Harris Interactive in January survey results. In the study, smartphone owners were asked which activities they regularly perform on a smartphone and/or computer. Emailing emerged as the most common action on a computer, with 90% either sending or reading personal or work emails. And while emailing was also a common use for smartphones (72% net), it fell behind the more popular texting or instant messaging (87%) and use of mapping and navigation (73%).

By contrast, only 20% of smartphone users professed to sending or receiving text or instant messages on their computers, and they were also less likely to turn to their computers for mapping and navigation (56%) assistance.

While the incidence of regular social media use was similar on computers and smartphones (69% and 64%, respectively), the types of social media activities performed varied slightly. While reading and sharing posts were most popular on both devices, smartphone owners were far more likely to check in via social media on a smartphone than on a computer (43% vs. 28%), a fairly unsurprising result.

And while the rise of mobile commerce has been well-documented, smartphone owners were far more likely to turn to their computers than to their mobile devices to research goods or services (81% vs. 45%) and make purchases (78% vs. 23%).

Conversely, smartphones were favored for playing games (56% vs. 52%), downloading free applications, music or videos (66% vs. 38%), and purchasing applications, music or videos (42% vs. 37%).

The Harris survey results show a similar order of preference for smartphone activities as did recent data from comScore, with texting coming out on top, ahead of downloading applications, accessing social media sites, and playing games.

About the Data: The data is from a Harris Poll of 2,383 adults (991 of whom own and use a smartphone) surveyed online between November 14 and 19, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

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