Statistics on Australians’ Smartphone Use and Ownership

Australians love their smartphones. Whether you enjoy a game of Fruit Ninja or stay in touch with loved ones via video call, there’s no denying that mobile has become part of our daily lives. Here are some statistics on smartphone use down under. 

Smartphone penetration in Australia

Hands, Girl, Mobile Phone, Listening, Relaxation, Woman

When it comes to mobile, Australia reigns supreme. The country has one of the highest levels of mobile access and device penetration, with Aussie consumers accessing news, shops and entertainment across a wide range of platforms, both online and traditional. 

Here’s a snapshot of mobile ownership and usage in the country:

  • 9 in 10 Australians own a smartphone (consultancy.com.au)
  • The country’s smartphone penetration level hovers at 84% making it the 4th largest market for smartphones in the world with Norway (91%) taking the top spot (vodafone.com.au)
  • There are more mobile phone subscriptions than there are people in Australia with 109.6 mobile subscriptions per 100 habitants down under (technologydecisions.com.au)
  • 91% of connected Aussie households use smartphones or some other kind of mobile device  (abs.gov.au)
  • 46% of children aged 6 to 13 have used a mobile phone in 2020, up from 41% in 2015 (acma.gov.au)
  • Aussies use their smartphones for an average of 2.5 hours a day or the equivalent of 38 days a year (averageaussie.com.au)

Smartphone usage trends among Australian consumers

Girl, Person, Female, Young, Smartphone, Outdoors

How do Aussies feel about their smartphones? It turns out that we’re quite attached to our mobiles:

We’re also using our smartphones for practical purposes, not just entertainment:

  • 59% of Aussies read the news on their smartphones, a higher percentage than any other nationality (smh.com.au)
  • 49% use mobile to research products and call businesses while 45% have visited a business they discovered using their smartphones (australia.googleblog.com)
  • 1 in 5 have used their smartphones to find a house or apartment or house, which is 33% more than the US or the UK (australia.googleblog.com)
  • 2 in 5 use mobile search daily – more than British or German smartphone users – and almost as high as the number user who search on desktop daily (australia.googleblog.com)
Home Office, Coffee, Computer, Laptop, Workplace

Further smartphones are no longer just on-the-go devices used to multitask or kill time while waiting for the bus or lining up at the grocery store. In fact, Aussies are increasingly using their smartphones while idle:

  • 81% of Aussies used their smartphones at home in the past 7 days compared to 66% on the go
  • About 1 in 2 smartphone owners use mobile while watching TV
  • 1 in 3 use their smartphones and another internet-enabled device (i.e. tablets, laptops) at the same time

But some are concerned that they might be too attached to their phones:

  • 39% of Aussies think they use their smartphones too often (businessinsider.com.au)
  • Only 26% have reported being successful in limiting their smartphone use while 34% admit to being unable to control smartphone use despite their efforts (businessinsider.com.au)
  • 99.2% of Aussies believe that the fear of being without their mobile phones further entrenches smartphone use in their daily lives (lens.monash.edu)

Nomophobia (short for “no mobile phone phobia”) is a situational disorder in which sufferers experience anxiety and discomfort when away from their phones, have a dead phone battery, or have no service. While not yet an officially recognised mental health issue, it is nonetheless becoming more widespread, with studies from 2008 and 2017 detecting mild to severe nomophobia symptoms in the general population.

How do you feel about your own smartphone usage? Follow Mobicity for updates on smartphone use in Australia. 

Clarence James

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