Americans rely more and more on mobile devices like their phone

Majority of consumers likely to check their phone within the first few minutes of the day * Over half feel unsafe in mobile "dead zones," especially women

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Almost one in four (24 percent) consumers check their mobile phone within the first minute of waking up, according to the 2018 Lifestyles of Mobile Consumers report released today from RootMetrics by IHS Markit, the gold standard for mobile performance benchmarking. The report surveyed 1,200 adults in the U.S to understand how mobile networks and devices impact consumers’ daily lives.

The report proved that consumers are highly dependent on their devices with the overwhelming majority (58 percent) checking their phone in the first 10 minutes of their day. The report also showed that poor connections not only lead to frustrations but also concerns about safety. In fact, nearly half of consumers (47 percent) noted they feel unsafe in a mobile “dead zone.”  While just two in five (42 percent) men noted feeling unsafe in a dead zone, over half (52 percent) of women noted the same, including two-thirds (67 percent) of millennial women.

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When it comes to assigning blame for poor service, almost half (46 percent) of consumers blame their carriers over location or device.

Additional report findings show:

  • Consumers are connecting more devices. More consumers are turning to their mobile connection for applications outside of just smartphones. Two in five (38 percent) admitted to adding a device such as a tablet or e-reader to their mobile data plan. Interestingly, this response was consistent across both men and women, as well as millennial and baby boomer generations.
  • U.S. mobile users are social. When analyzing consumers’ use of mobile phones, the majority spend their time on social activities or watching videos online. One in three (34 percent) consumers spend most of their time texting, while another one in three (32 percent) primarily use their phone to check social media. Furthermore, one in five (21 percent) admit to watching online videos for seven hours or more a week, with roughly one in four (23 percent) men watching this amount compared to one in five women (19 percent).
  • Mobile shopping is in, but mobile pay is not. Holiday shopping in 2018 is less about the mall and more about mobile – with many consumers (45 percent) planning to use their smartphone for online shopping. Millennials are even bigger fans of mobile shopping, with over half (52 percent) planning to use a smartphone to purchase the bulk of holiday gifts. Meanwhile, mobile pay doesn’t have the same hype. In fact, almost two in five (37 percent) don’t think mobile pay apps compare in convenience to traditional cash or credit cards and another 36 percent worry their data is not secure on these platforms.
  • Millennials lead Internet of Things (IoT) adoption. Smartphones are driving IoT adoption with nearly one in four (21 percent) U.S. consumers using a smartphone to run an IoT device at least once a day. However, many still aren’t convinced it is time to adopt smart devices. When asked why they wouldn’t purchase a connected device, like Alexa or a smart TV, nearly a third (32 percent) say they don’t have a need for this technology. When it comes to millennials, one in four (26 percent) already own a connected home device and two in five (39 percent) admit to controlling an IoT device with their smartphone at least once a week.

“A strong mobile network performance is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Kevin Hasley, head of product at RootMetrics and executive director of performance benchmarking. “Today’s connected consumers demand a network that can keep up with their daily needs. As the IoT and other mobile technologies continue to evolve, we can expect carriers to invest in improving their networks to meet changing expectations and offer consumers a fast, secure connection.

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