How Do People Around the World Use Smartphones

Smartphone use: every country is different.

By Kevin White on December 3, 2013

With a projected 1.4 billion worldwide users by the end of this year, smartphones are a common asset for global consumers. How individuals use their smartphones, however, may be different depending on the country they live in. Here’s a look at device usage across the globe and the value they have in different cultures.

USA: The country has witnessed a surge in smartphone usage within the past few years. Making calls, text messaging and interacting on social media are the most popular activities for Americans. Also, the availability of 4G LTE has enhanced the accessibility of mobile video. Of the 221 million mobile users in the U.S., 78 million (35 percent) are now watching mobile video.    

China: Many Chinese citizens travel long distances for work; using the smartphone to listen to music or browse the Internet during their daily commutes is common. Research indicates that the most popular sites visited are for online chatting and dating.  

United Arab Emirates: United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the highest smartphone penetration in the world. Research shows that most people, however, only use their phones for basic tasks such as calls, texts and photos; and they rarely surf the Internet or stream. Many UAE citizens do not use the specialized features because of spotty LTE coverage.

Kenya: According to studies, the reduction of smartphone costs will lead to increased usage in Kenya.  The country is already the world leader in mobile money. Millions of Kenyans use their phones for mobile transactions such as buying groceries, paying rent or purchasing taxi rides. Using their phones to text message and listen to music is also popular among Kenyans.

United Kingdom: UK smartphone owners on average spend almost two hours per day using their devices (more than most other countries). According to an eMarketer survey, smartphone activity in the UK includes Internet browsing, social media, listening to music, playing games and making calls.