Pause. Take a look around. Do you see people immersed in their mobile phones everywhere? Well, it’s not just them. ReportLinker’s latest study on smartphone usage reveals that nearly half (46% to be precise) of Americans check their phones as soon as they wake up while they’re still in bed. Not only that, but even after they fall asleep about 10% of Americans admit waking up to check their smartphone during the night.

The survey reached 536 online respondents representative of the US population. The results that emerged proves that mobile usage is huge and phones are now ingrained in our lifestyle and that the connection is ‘round the clock’.


Gone are the days when mobile phones were predominantly used for making calls and sending text messages. If you look at the ad campaigns of the top smartphone companies around the world, it’s all about the features that phone has; camera quality, RAM, processor, display, etc.

In the ReportLinker survey, when the respondents were asked what topped their mind when opening their smartphone, connecting with friends and relatives aced the list. More than 30% say they open their email first, the same percentage who say they first open social media apps.


Last year, when Facebook announced its blockbuster Q1 earnings, the company claimed that globally, people spend more than 50 minutes a day across Facebook’s suite of apps (not including WhatsApp).

In the run-up to the highly anticipated IPO of Snapchat, Imran Khan the company’s Chief Strategy Officer revealed that the average Snapchat user opens the app 18 times per day. He also claimed that the average person in the U.S. checks their mobile phone 46 times a day, and millennials, who form the company’s core audience check their phones over 75 times per day.

Google’s ‘Micro-moments’ report also says that 87% of the smartphone users have their devices at their side, day and night. Also, more than 50% of the views on YouTube come from mobile devices and average time spent per mobile session is around 40 minutes.

The ReportLinker survey also threw some light on app usage. 31% of the respondents claimed that they use their device mostly to engage on social media apps, followed by mail apps (18%), photos (15%) and news (12%).


Business Insider intelligence, estimates that the global smartphone market will hit about 2.1 billion units shipped in 2021. This is largely due to the widespread adoption in emerging markets.

But what’s next for smartphones in terms of features? Two trends dominating the Consumer Electronics Show this January may provide a hint: artificial intelligence and machine-learning.

Voice technology has been a part of the smartphone revolution for over 5 years now. With Google’s voice command, Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, surely the devices are ready for greater sophistication. For those who use their Voice Assistant, nearly half use voice commands to search the internet. Texting, dialing a phone number, and managing one’s calendar round out the top four voice command tasks.


One of the most interesting data from the ReportLinker survey was that of the lifecycle of the smartphones. 43% of the total respondents upgrade to a newer model every year, while most don’t keep their phones longer than two years. Almost a quarter claim that they hand down their old phones to relatives or friends and 18% take the advantage of retailers’ electronics recycling programs.


There is not an iota of doubt that we are entering into very exciting times. Mobile phone makers, app developers, content publishers are always on the constant lookout on how to keep the users hooked onto their devices. There’s a reason why the global mobile internet ad spending in 2016was close to $101 billion. Couple all these data with the boom of wearables and IoT, we are definitely in for a ride, one that’s only begun.

In 2007, when Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone, the stage was set for the smartphone industry. A decade (and numerous devices) later, as we gear up for the 10th anniversary of iPhone, we wonder what’s in store for the smartphone market! Only time will tell us.

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