From March to May 2011 we collected data about visitors’ use of their smartphones. A simple four-page survey asked questions about type of phone, features used, number of apps downloaded/used and their perceptions of value of mobile apps. Here's what we found.  

A total of 200 respondents across two different samples of 100 each were surveyed – those who were attending Jurassic Lounge, with respondents primarily aged 25-34 years, and our ‘regular’ family visitors to search and discover and Kidspace, with majority of these aged 35-49 years. This allowed us to compare across different visitor types, as well as by age and gender.

One immediate finding from both samples was they did not know what the term “smartphone” meant and many did not know whether their phone even had internet capability. Once explained, we found that the majority of those surveyed (72%) had iPhones; 10% Android HTC; 7% Blackberry; 5% Nokia and 4% Samsung.

The most used features were:

  • 61% phone – females used this feature more than males
  • 49% email
  • 47% contacts – males and JLounge respondents used this feature more than females/other visitors
  • 34% calendar – females used this feature more than males
  • 26% music – JLounge respondents used this feature more than other visitors
  • 14% games – males used this feature more than females

How many apps had they downloaded?

  • 35% 10-25 apps
  • 29% less than 10 apps
  • 20% 26-50 apps
  • 12% more than 50 apps

Of the types of apps downloaded the most popular were social networking, primarily Facebook with 79% of respondents having this on their phone, closely followed by games at 73%. Other apps included:

  • 60% weather
  • 58% music
  • 57% location-based service (restaurant guides, Foursquare etc)
  • 57% navigation (GPS, maps)
  • 46% entertainment
  • 46% news
  • 33% photography
  • 30% books
  • 25% medical/health/fitness
  • 23% education
  • 23% financial

On average 54% said that they downloaded an app a few times each month, 17% once a week and 15% a few times a week.

Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of 1-5 what they considered was important when deciding to download an app. The two most important aspects were being free and practical/useful (53% rated each as very important); closely followed by good value for money and being easy to use (51% rated very important). Other very important ratings were containing up-to-date information (44%), reliability of information (38%), fun (37%), recommended by friends 34%; comments/ratings 28%; and intellectual stimulation (21%). Interestingly, and by far the lowest ratings, were the ‘buzz’ or ‘hype’ around the app (10%) and the ‘cool factor’ (8%).

Given these overall results however, there were differences between samples as follows:

  • Free more important for females and those aged under 35
  • Good value for money more important for JLounge respondents and those aged under 35
  • Comments/ratings of more value to JLounge respondents and males
  • Recommendations by family/friends more important for younger respondents
  • The cool factor / hype less important to regular visitors and those aged over 35
  • Reliability, up-to-date and practical information, as well as fun to use were more important for JLounge respondents and those aged under 35
  • Intellectual stimulation more important for JLounge and those aged 25-34
  • Males and those aged 25-34 generally spent less time on apps
  • Females more likely to spend less than $2 on an app

Thanks to our intern, Marloes Schepers, for collecting the majority of data.

We will be doing further surveys around value during the current season of Jurassic Lounge so watch this space...