For the 20th time in a row, in a representative survey, Austrian subsidiary A1 has examined the influence of mobile phones on society, depending on zeitgeist, mood and trends. The survey was carried out by GfK Austria. Between June 25 and July 11, 1.119 mobile users aged 12 and over were interviewed online. smartphone a status symbol
In keeping with the anniversary, this year’s survey focuses on the most stunning mobile influencer of the Austrians, the smartphone. One of the key findings: Within these 20 years, smartphones have transformed from a status symbol to everybody´s darling, to a constant companion.
Further findings smartphones a status symbol
• 9 out of 10 Austrians never leave home without their smartphone
• “Heavy Users”: There is nobody uses smartphones more often than young women
• App enthusiasm: Austrians are using more and more apps on their mobile phones
• Increasing number of second-hand or refurbished phones: Climate debate leads to rethinking when it comes to purchasing smartphones
• 5G-speed: Youngsters recognize the technological potential for private use more than older ones
1999 – 2019: smartphone a status symbol turns into a permanent companion
“The mobile phone has evolved from a status symbol and expensive toy to an always-on and anywhere companion, to everybody´s darling – within a short time, worldwide. Over a period of 20 years, we closely monitored and analyzed the evolution of the mobile phone in social, cultural and economic contexts. We have developed, optimized and adapted our services according to the requirements of our customers. That’s why studies like these are of crucial importance, as they show us which direction we will need to take in the future and what the social and technical challenges will be”, says Thomas Arnoldner, CEO A1 Telekom Austria Group.
The results of the survey show how closely we are actually connected with our mobile phones: More than half of all Austrians can no longer imagine a life without a mobile phone. 9 out of 10 people never leave home without it, a third even focus on their mobile phone anywhere and anytime. Among those under 25, this value amounts to almost 60%. Meanwhile, almost half of all respondents could imagine the mobile phone becoming a personal ID.
All-in-One: The smartphone as a key communication tool smartphone a status symbol
“What is it that makes the smartphone such a crucial gadget? Obviously, the Austrians consider it the most important and key communication tool of our time. Telephony, texting, social media, Internet and much more – all condensed in one pocket format. A key role plays is WhatsApp, Messenger and others because 52% use mobile phone primarily for written communication. This is a continuing trend that has increased enormously in recent years”, explains Prof. Dr. Rudolf Bretschneider, former managing director of GfK Austria.
The development of written communication on smartphones is mainly attributed to the thrilling use of WhatsApp: 6 out of 10 Austrians use this most popular communication service several times a day, the survey reveals.
“The use of services and functions on the smartphone has further increased. As a true ‘heavy user’, we primarily recognize young women up to the age of 29. They practically use every service more than anyone else”, says Prof. Dr. Bretschneider.
The top three services on smartphones in Austria are: “Sending photos or videos” (86%), “communication and news services” (84%) and “Internet surfing” (82%). The biggest year-on-year increase of 2018 vs. 2019 is video calling (from 29% to 35%).
An average of 30 Apps: Austrians increasingly use apps (fee-based) on their mobile phones
The growing popularity of various Apps is another factor making smartphones a more and more important companion in everyday life: 75% of Austrians use apps on smartphones. On average, a domestic user has about 30 apps installed on the smartphone (23.5 in the previous year), of which two are fee-based. In 2019, the average annual spending on paid apps has increased up to 40 Euros.
In Austria, the most widely used applications are communications and news services, social networks, and news and weather apps. The clear number one and therefore the most indispensable app of the Austrians once again is “WhatsApp”. This communication service enjoys great popularity with 75% users across all ages, even every second 70-year-old uses the service.
Second hand or refurbished: Climate debate leads to a rethinking of smartphone purchases
“Sustainability and environment-friendly use of our resources”: Due to the high explosiveness and public agenda, this key future topic has an ever stronger influence on the smartphone purchase of Austrian consumers. As the results show, the purchase of a used smartphone now accounts for more than a quarter of Austrians (26%), that of a refurbished device even for 40% – in 2015, these values were still 17% and 29% respectively.
Generation 5G: Young Austrians recognize the potential and create expectations
As one of the first representative Austrian surveys ever, this year the A1 Social Impact Survey also addresses future mobile Internet: 5G.
As the current status quo shows, more than 80% of Austrians are already familiar with the term “5G mobile communications standard” and most often associate it with “fast Internet”. While a majority of older respondents see first and foremost improved opportunities for industry and businesses in 5G technology, an above-average number of young adults up to the age of 24, compared to adults up to age 54 (10%), see 5G benefits for individuals (21%). They want faster mobile 5G Internet, especially for streaming videos, movies and music, and enhanced video calling.
“As this year’s survey shows, life without a mobile phone is hard to imagine for most of us. No technology has conquered and influenced the world faster. We at A1 Telekom Austria Group play a key role in this upheaval, which will experience another boost with the future 5G technology. As a leading communications provider in the CEE region, we are committed to providing the very latest technologies and services in all our markets – so that we can meet the expectations of all our customers, today and tomorrow”, Arnoldner summarizes. smartphone a status symbol