Australian Smartphone and Tablet Data

Survey: Australian Smartphone and Tablet Usage

Late last year AIMIA released the findings of the 2014 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index (AMPLI) which looks at Australian Smartphone and Tablet Usage and the preferences of Australian mobile phone users.   We’ve dived into the extensive results and pulled out a handful of the most interesting findings.

Device ownership

Australian smartphone penetration of almost 90% is the highest we’ve seen, but is not too much of a stretch.  Last July TNS found Australia’s smartphone penetration to be 75% and the Deloitte Media Consumer Survey at around the same time pegged it at 81%.  6 months later it’s entirely possible that smartphones are now in the hands of 85% or more Australians.  AIMIA’s survey focusses on adult Australians and the data should only be considered to represent 18 to 75 year olds.  This may account for a slightly higher smartphone penetration in their data.  Also surprising is the 60% tablet ownership but this is also backed up by Deloitte’s findings of 63% tablet penetration.  Our love for digital devices is strong and growing every day with around a third of those who don’t already have a smartphone or tablet planning to purchase one in the next 12 months.

  • 89% owned a smartphone
  • 60% owned a tablet
  • 53% of respondents owned a smartphone, personal computer and tablet
  • Of those that did not own a smartphone, 32% plan to purchase one in the next 12 months
  • Of those that did not own a tablet 33% plan to purchase one in the next 12 months (11% in the next 6 months)
  • 34% of respondents do not have a landline
  • 48% have a landline but do not use it very much

Smartphone brand

Apple’s declining market share has been the talk of the global media for some time, but things may be changing.  There is talk that Apple are making a come back and in some countries like Australia, they never really lost much ground.  Almost half of Australian smartphone owners still have an Apple device.

  • 49% have an Apple device
  • 25% have a Samsung
  • 7% have a Nokia
  • 5% have a HTC
  • All others are less than 5%

Device Preferences

We love our mobile devices and we consistently choose them over other screens.  Almost two thirds of us would give up our TV rather than our mobile phone.  In a battle between screens, half of us would choose our mobile phone over a laptop or tablet.  While larger screens are preferred for a number of online activities, as many as a third of Australians prefer their more personal smartphone to access social media.  We’re also pretty keen to expand the use of our smartphone to other activities like shopping.  Over 40% of Australians either already use their smartphone as a credit card or would like to.

  • 61% of respondents would choose their mobile phone over their TV
  • 50% would choose their mobile phone, 16% their Tablet and 34% their laptop or desktop.
  • 34% of respondents would like to use their phone as a credit card
  • 7% already use their phone as a credit card
  • 39% would like to use their phone as a TV remote
  • 14% already use their phone as a TV remote
  • 36% of respondents prefer to use their smartphone than any other device for social media

Wearable Devices

We like the idea of wearable devices but as a population we still have limited exposure to them.  Only 9% currently own a wearable device like a smart watch.  However 30% either own or plan to own one in the next year. This is a market that will establish itself locally this year and be set to completely transform our relationship to digital technology and smart screens in the coming years.

  • 30% of respondents either already own or plan to own a wearable device in the next 12 months:
  • 9% currently own a wearable device
  • 8% plan to buy on in next 6 months
  • 13% plan to buy one in next 12 months

Music Streaming

  • 9% have a paid subscription to a music streaming service
  • 59% of those with a paid music streaming service use Spotify, 17% use iTunes Radio
  • 4% plan to get a paid service
  • 29% use a free service

Device Usage 

Other than talk and text, some of the most popular ways we use our our smartphones are to browse the internet, send emails and access social networking sites.  We download a lot of apps but increasingly we expect them to be free, with only 45% now willing to pay for apps (down from 62% last year).  We are starting to use instant messaging a lot more, with just over a quarter of us using IM at least once a day.  Video calling is also picking up, although daily use is still low at 6%. However, more than a quarter of us do use video calling at least once a month, suggesting this medium is primed for growth.

  • 58% use their smartphone to send email at least once a day
  • 57% use their smartphone to access social networking sites at least once a day
  • 27% use IM at least once a day
  • 26% use video calling at least once a month  (6% are using it once a day or more)
  • 66% use their smartphone to browse or search the internet at least once a day
  • 57% were high level users of social networking on smartphone
  • 45% had paid for apps (significantly down from 62% last year)


The survey asked where respondents would prefer to receive offers on their smartphone.  The result findings highlighted the fact that 48% of respondents would in fact prefer NOT to receive offers.  More interesting is the fact that 51%  were happy to receive offers from brands they like and just under half of these would prefer those offers to arrive while they are near the brand’s store.  This is a significant population group who would be keen to sign up for location based offers from the right brand.

  • 48% noted that they were not interested in receiving any offer on their mobile phone for a brand they liked.
  • 51% were happy to receive offers from brands they like
  • Of these, just under half would prefer to receive offer while they are near the brand’s store, while the rest would prefer to be at home or out & about (ie. commuting) when they receive the offer.

Next week we’ll look at more findings about Australian smartphone and tablet usage from the AIMIA Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index, with a particular focus on mobile payments and shopping on a smartphone.

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