Ah, I love statisics. Regular readers of this blog remember I was the first to break the 150x per day statistic we got from Nokia, and then that particularly even number came back again and again from different sources such as T-Mobile, AT&T and just a few weeks ago, from Australia's Telstra. Always the quoted number, very 'even' 150 times per day and never accompanied with any published survey info. The situation got so bad that I did my 'feasibility' analysis here, showing that yes, for all mobile phone users based on other published mobile phone user and usage data, that 150x per day was indeed plausible and in fact probably very close to the truth. And I kept begging the industry to go survey the actual users. There even was some controversy when Mary Meeker published the 150x number referencing me haha.
Well guess what? Now we do have a measured number. This time its not for all phone users (smartphone and dumbphone as the 150x number was). This is only for smartphone users (but now smartphones account for more than half of all new sales globally, so soon the world will have more smartphones in use than dumbphones so the smartphone-only stat is increasingly relevant. And while we are on that, I am projecting that roughly year 2019 the world will see the last dumbphone sold. The 'installed base' will then continue to have a dwindling number of dumbphones still used, in particular in Emerging World markets well into the next decade but the days of dumbphones are counted).
So what is our new number? Tecmark in the UK surveyed 2,000 smartphone users and found the average person looks at their smartphone 1,500 times per week. How does that compare per day? The study counted specifically the average at 221 times per day. This is not just an interesting headline-baiting 'gut feel' number, now its a real measured number. 221 times per day means that for every waking hour, we glance at our phone on average once every 4.3 minutes of every day. The same survey also found that the average UK smartphone user looks at their phone for 3 hours per day - thats 18.8% of total waking hours we now have our eyes on the small screen.
So this is massive news. Memorize the new number now, its 221 times per day. And for those who think that is preposterous, if you want to see how we get to such immense numbers, here is my blog from last year when I examined how can we get to 150x per day. That helps you understand what all kinds of things we were already doing.
(This article has been updated and corrected on 9 October 2014. An earlier version had the number as 214 times per day, when early reporting only gave the 1,500 number which I divided by 7. Now there is reporting on the actual daily number, 221 times, which the article now reports)