What are Smartphone Users Looking for?

Google Mobile Insights

A recent poll taken by Google/IPSOS wanted to find out how do smartphone owners really use their phones and what for. Over 5,000 US adults aged between 18 - 64 were interviewed for the findings. The research was conduced Q4 2010.

Some of the questions they were asked:

  • How are smartphones used in daily life?
  • How do consumers multi-task with their smartphones?
  • What types of info are consumers searching for on mobile?
  • What role do smartphones play in decision making for products & services?
  • How do consumers respond to mobile ads?

Here's what they found:

  • 89% use phone through out the day.
  • 93% of the time it's used at home while 89% on the go. 73% in a restaurant, 72% at work, and 54% at a coffee shop.
  • 81% use to browse the net, 68% use an app., 48% watch videos.
  • Almost three quarters of those surveyed use it while listening to music (44%), watch TV (33%), reading (22%), and play video games (27%).

Smartphone Users are Multi-taskers

  • They are using their phone while they are waiting (59%), eating (48%), entertaining (40%), driving (20%), taking a shower (8%).
  • 89% use to check email and socialize, 82% read the news and research, 75% use it to find a place, 65% keep entertained, 45% use to manage finances and make dinner or travel arrangements.

Give up my high heels? Why not.

43% will give up beer, 36% would give up chocolate, 34% would give up Superbowl tickets, 26% would give up high heels and 20% would give up cable TV.


  • Search sites are the most visited from a mobile device at 77% while coupon sites are about 18% retail sites make up 46%. Social sites are second at 65%.

What are they Looking for?

When searching, smartphone users are primarily looking for news (57%) while 51% are looking for a restaurant. 31 percent are looking for travel and 47 percent are shopping.

Quick Loading Sites Need Only Apply

89% are trying to find something now such as book a restaurant reservation, travel arrangements, research related information for a purchase. The chances of them acting from the phone are much greater than making the decision from a desktop and 9 out of 10 have done so. More than half will take action because of this.


95% are looking locally as a result 77% contacted the business and 44% made the purchase. All this happened within the day.

  • 74% Of smartphone shoppers made a purchase as a result of using smartphone.
  • 70% will perform a search while in store. 48% made use of a coupon.
  • 67% researched on a smartphone then bought in store.
  • Only 9% visited the store then made a purchase on a smartphone (something tells me this number is going to jump).
  • 27% purchased trough a mobile website while 22% purchased from an app.
  • In the past year smartphone shoppers spent about $300.


Smartphone users are constantly looking stuff up. 61 percent made a search by word-of-mouth, 44% saw in store, and 68% through an ad.

82% notice mobile ads. while display ads being the most popular. 49% look for more info., 27% contacted the advertiser, 33% visited the retailer, 49% made a purchase.

To see more and find out implications of the study, you can download the file here.

Watch a quick video here:



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