News Alert: People Still Use Computers


By Jason Kelley
January 9, 2013

Marketing Trends

We’ve read a lot of recent articles hailing the Rise of the Smartphone.   It’s true, smartphone adoption and usage is rising rapidly.  According to a recent report from Strategy Analytics, in the third quarter the number of smartphones being used around the globe topped 1 billion for the first time.

Smartphones are more-or-less mini, portable computers, but there are still some activities that people rely on the good, old fashioned desktop for.  According to a Harris Poll of more than 2,300 adults conducted in mid-November, an overwhelming majority of smartphone owners favored using a laptop or desktop for researching goods or services (81%, or the third-most reported activity, compared with 45% — or the eighth-most popular activity — for smartphones). A similar disparity arose when it came to purchasing products or services (78%/4th, compared with 23%/12th.) Smartphones, meanwhile, are the preferred devices for immediate communication such as texting or instant messaging and mapping/navigation services.

Despite the many differences between smartphone and computer use, combined social media interactions make for the 5th most frequent use for both a smartphone (64%) and a computer (69%). In both cases, reading posts (56% smartphone, 62% computer) is the top activity, followed by sharing (44% smartphone, 51% computer) and writing (43% smartphone, 50% computer). A similar percentage uses their smartphones to “check in” (43%), while far fewer do so on computers (28%).

Interesting stuff! This poll does not include a key player, the tablet.  Interesting to see where everyone stands when it’s included in the next poll.  In the meantime, this provides some interesting insights to consider when planning media.