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January 22, 2013



"So what do you think? Did I miss obvious areas that have large usage globally across all ages and demographics - remember, we cannot focus on smartphones, only one in five mobile handsets in use today is a smartphone (but are now selling more than half of new handset sales in many countries, so this will change rapidly)."

Maybe I'm an exception, but I don't look at my smartphone more than 10 or 20 times per day.

In fact, I only use my phone during my commute between home and work.

I use my phone for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening, checking Flipboard. (Great app, by the way!)

But I wouldn't count that as several views -- I would count it as two long views, or tens of page views. (Considering 1 minute per article, maximum of 60 articles per day.)

Other than that, I don't use my phone, since I'm always in front of my computer, where I can message anyone much more conveniently.

I would say that this is a very common usage pattern, at least for people who work in front of a computer.

Perhaps that's only a small fraction of the world population, though.


It depends. Monetization often destroys the platform (kills the goose that lays the golden egg). I ended up turning Google ads back on because they were relevant, things I wanted or were interested in.

I really, really don't want an ad for a female contraceptive (or maybe worse, a hygiene product) when I plug my device in to recharge.

It doesn't matter if I look at my phone 10 or 1000 times per day. If I have something that I may want or at least am curious about, not only do I don't mind, I welcome it. If it is something irrelevant or odious, I resent it.


Hey Tomi,

Gee, I didn't even know my phone was capable of all that! Seriously, even though my phone is capable of all what you wrote, I certainly don't use all these features.

You say typical user. This discounts all the average from smartphone as statistically irrelevant?

Problem here is what's typical exactly? That's market/usability research, results vary so much among different users. How accurate do you want to be?

Take clock for example. For clock some people use a watch, others their phone. Who knows the numbers? I still generally use my watch; gorgeous + habit…

Some people use an old fashioned agenda, others use phone (but the one in dumbphones is rather archaic isn't it?). What is the percentage here?

One you may have missed and this works right when you wake up over WiFi is weather (this data can be cached). Tho you could look outside as well, its also about future. You can have location based, or see how the weather is at the place you commute. If it is part of your morning ritual you may as well combine it with say the "look" on incoming messages.

As a smartphone user, I check my battery more often than on my last dumbphone which stayed alive for various days.

Some of your options, like web, I don't see people on a dumbphone (without data plan generally?) do. If they're on WiFi, might as well do on a PC at work or home instead. Unless they don't have such.

One other thing I don't see mentioned is NFC. Sharing contact, and also payment. I have no clue how popular there are on dumbphone, how popular is it in Japan? I also don't see GPS and FM usage in your list. GPS is a bit silly, generally smartphone. If you name clock tho, then dismissing FM as "uses 3rd party radio" I find silly. However since you include music player, why not FM? Although FM gives music and news so in that sense its in your list (with news I think about RSS, but news via FM would fall under it). Calculator is another small yet nifty feature. And a note block (even with T9). Tho my guess would be most people prefer either a real note block, or maybe a smartphone with hardware keyboard, if you don't have this with you…

I suppose translate requires a plan and is more smartphone thing, but so dumbphones contain dictionaries? Offline encyclopedia such as Wikipedia? Bible and what religions have you not? Does require some storage though.

Finally, a popular one with online gaming (even on dumb phones) is 2-step/2-factor authentication. Its quite popular in a game from Blizzard and this was available for S40 too.

With every single above example of mine there's a big problem: no numbers to back it back.

Either way, IMO instead of looking at specialized devices people still use (like watch, stand alone camera, navigation system) lets look at the general "gadget use", and if average phone can do this too: count it. Because more and more will even dumbphones be used as an all-in-one swiss army knife and it doesn't matter in such statistic if they insist on using a physical watch. The reason they don't switch AFAICT is either specialised quality (camera) or because they always did it that way (cannot adapt to new situation.

Of my list most are niche I think (but you know that probably much better). The only one I feel strongly about is _calculator_ (if you include clock, why not calculator). A mobile phone saves a lot of space there due to an average Casio being as big (but not thick) or bigger as a phone. I use my phone's calculator on a daily basis.


How about books? The experience is definitely much better on a smartphone, but it's not only for smartphone users. I was reading on my old Nokia 2610, and "cellphone novels" delivered over SMS/MMS were popular in China and Japan well before the smartphone era (perhaps these should count under SMS, but your description for that section doesn't mention them).


Like most things in life Pareto rules. Watching two teenage girls over several hours during a family dinner (not in THAT way!)I can attest they both got over 100 texts each in a 3 hour period. So instead of spreading our views across alll functions I think we "chunk" our viewing into cycles.

The typical question needs to be split into age and the "life stages around that age - teenagers, 20 somethings that are dating, "old married couples", and the smartphone maturity cycle. The smartphone maturity cycle is probably an upside down bell curve,first phone lot's of use- it's cool! second, third phone less use, until convergence the "N" device and integration into life. More functions moved to the device, watch, weather, music, e-mail,gps....

I also see some user interfaces as creating more "views". Take for instance the N9, unified messaging/notification screen drives more views. I think the less you have to dive down into an app and swim back up to use a function the more you use a device - the essence of the Jolla/Sailfish evolution.

Started with Vic20 and Commodore64

You forgot one crucial driver for the growth of the data and ICT development and it is the adult entertainment.
The adult entertainment in the web has been driver for color displays, faster internet connections etc.

Do you know any male in the western countries that haven't been watching porno in the internet? In the early days people were using VHS or DVD, then ISDN and xDSL connections with their desktop PC's, Wifi and laptops, tablets, and wireleless connections with their mobile phones. Nowadays most mobile phones and display free adult enterntainment content and 3G network is sufficient for some extent due to modern video packaging methods. 4G or Wifi is currently luxury but will be mainstream in coming years.

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I am looking forward to reading your article An Attempt to Validate the 150x Per Day Number Based On 'Typical User' and read other posts soon.


Okay, that's me ;-)

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Pete Austin

Actually the average mobile phone user checks their phone 25 times a day (data from Deloitte)

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