The GSMA recently funded their annual engagement study to learn what smartphone owners are doing with their devices right now. They call this the GMEI (for Global Mobile Engagement Index) and it measures the amount of engagement smartphone owners have across a large number of use cases and services. The big headline from this study talks about how almost half of smartphone owners are only using their devices for talking and texting.
We’ve seen this type of information before in reports that claim the majority of smartphone owners don’t install a single application or game throughout the average month. This specific study though, was done across 56 global markets and claims to represent 80% of the world’s population. They use this information to classify smartphone owners into one of four different categories. At the top of this list is the Aficionados, who are the most engaged with their devices, but then there’s the Pragmatists, Networkers and Talkers.
It’s this Talkers tier that is said to make up 47% of all smartphone owners and it’s these people who say they only use their device to place calls and send/receive text messages. This tier is said to shrink to 29% by 2030 though as more people become familiar with their devices. Along with this piece of information, the study also gives us a look at other insights into smartphone owners as well. For instance, the study says South Korea, Qatar and the US are the most engaged markets in the world.
It tells them that SMS is still used more frequently than IP messaging services in “mature markets” such as the United States and France. Some markets show that Baby Boomers use their phones more than Millennials. Over 70% of global smartphone owners watch free video content on services like YouTube, and over 70% also use their smartphones to research information about products and services.