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ProsperMobile-Device-Use-on-Vacation-Apr2013Smartphone and tablet owners just can’t seem to let go of their devices. Young smartphone owners seem particularly addicted: 3 in 4 check them when they wake up in the morning, while up to 40% check them every 10 minutes. As it turns out, even a vacation won’t pry smart devices out of their owners’ hands. When they go on vacation, 8 in 10 owners say they take their devices along and use them all the time, compared to slightly more than 1 in 10 who take them but rarely use them. That’s up from about 7 in 10 respondents last year reporting using their devices all the time. Still, it’s worth noting that the survey options only included use of these devices “all of the time” or “rarely.” One might surmise that if there was a “sometimes” option included, fewer respondents would have indicated that they use their devices on vacation all the time.

Meanwhile, separate results indicate that smartphones and tablets are most commonly used on vacation to check personal email (94.1%), with many also using them to keep in touch with those back home (78.4%) and to post photos and status updates to social media (74.2%). The devices also serve to assist vacationers through the use of GPS/maps (81.4%) and search for local restaurants or attractions (77.4%).

While it’s understandable that mobile devices are commonly used for entertainment while traveling (on a plane, in a car – 70.5%), a similar proportion (68.2%) use them for entertainment while on vacation, such as on the beach or at the hotel.

They’re less commonly used to make reservations for restaurants or attractions (36.2%) or to check in at an airport ahead of time (34.6%). Even so, compared to 2012, likelihood of using devices to perform those activities is up 35% and 52%, respectively.

Other Findings:

  • Smartphones (88.1%) are much more likely than tablets (37.5%) to be cited as “must-have” devices while vacationing.
  • Women are slightly more likely than men to use their devices to check their personal email, while the reverse is true when it comes to checking work email.
  • Women demonstrate a greater propensity to use their devices while vacationing to keep in touch with those back home (85.3% vs. 70.9%), post photos and status updates to social media (81.4% vs. 66.4%) and searching for local restaurants or attractions (80.9% vs. 73.6%).

About the Data: The insights derive from the March Mobile Survey, conducted by Prosper Mobile Insightsâ„¢. The survey included 362 smartphone and tablet users from the uSamp Mobile Panel who completed the survey on their devices. Margin of error is +/- 5.3% at a 95% confidence level.

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