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Deloitte: Mobile usage shifting from “addiction” to “etiquette”

Deloitte survey of mobile usage trends sees high penetration among the young; fast growth among elders

Mobile device usage patterns are jelling into a natural “etiquette” for device use that includes heavy use and frequent checking of devices — but some usage appears to have plateaued, according to Deloitte’s 2017 survey of consumer mobile usage trends.

About 264 million Americans use their phones 12 billion times per day in the aggregate, Deloitte concluded, and “the mobile ecosystem remains one of the most important enablers of the way we live and work in 2017.”

But there have been some interesting shifts in usage patterns, Deloitte noted. “The number of times we look at our phones each day has not increased over the past three years, and the urgency with which we reach for our phones has plateaued as well. … Even the number of apps consumers download and install on their devices has more or less plateaued. The average number of apps installed has increased only marginally to 23, from last year’s 22. Asked for their reasons for not installing more apps, 57 percent of respondents said they didn’t see the need for them, while 25 percent maintained they did not have enough space on their phones for more.”

Deloitte also found some slight year-over-year decreases in phone usage during specific activities, such as while eating in a restaurant or while talking to family and friends. So consumers aren’t giving up their smartphones, not by a long shot — but they are concerned that they’re probably using them too much.

“It may come as no surprise that some consumers believe that they may be using their smartphone too frequently,” Deloitte wrote in its report. “And which age group expresses the highest levels of concern? Seventy-five percent of those ages 25 to 34, and 72 percent of those ages 18 to 24 report that they “definitely” or “probably” use their phone too much. … Almost half (47 percent) of all ages said they try to reduce or limit their smartphone use. Again that trend is led predominantly by the two youngest age groups.”

Among Deloitte’s other findings:

-Use of all communications services was on the rise — and voice usage, after four years of decline, saw an increase in usage.

-Overall smartphone penetration reached 82% in the U.S., with the younger generation scoring the highest penetration rate of 93%. However, Deloitte noted, the the fastest growth of smartphone ownership is actually among users age 55 and older.

-After two years of double-digit growth, wearable growth rates have slowed slightly.

-Tablet penetration was at more than 60%.

“Even as smartphone use begins to mature, we may be on the precipice of the next generation of mobile, as IoT applications and services capture consumer interest and the global race to 5G takes hold,” Craig Wigginton, vice chairman and telecommunications sector leader for Deloitte.

This is Deloitte’s seventh annual mobile consumer survey and is based on a study of about 2,000 U.S.-based consumers between the ages of 18 and 75.

Extreme Networks finds Wi-Fi use at NFL stadiums continues to rise

In related user statistics, Extreme Networks — which is the official Wi-Fi provider of the National Football League and provides Wi-Fi and/or Wi-Fi analytics to 22 NFL teams — said that according to the NFL’s Voice of the Fan survey, overall Wi-Fi service at NFL stadiums improved 5% between 2015 and 2016. The survey also found that fans’ overall technology satisfaction has improved 15% since 2012, when the NFL implemented a Wi-Fi standard.

Among other stats from Extreme:

  • At the Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium, 56% of game attendees connected to the stadium Wi-Fi during the 2016 season, compared to 41.8% during 2015 games.
  • The Seattle Seahawks saw their unique Wi-Fi users rise 21% between 2015 to 2016.
  • At the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, data volume increased 42% between the 2015 season and 2016 season, while the number of unique Wi-Fi users grew by 78% and concurrent users increased 56%.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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