Friday, January 16th, 2015 - Roy Morgan Research

A declining proportion of Australians are using their mobile phone mainly for business purposes, data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

From 2010 to 2011, around 1 in 10 mobile phone owners said they used their primary mobile phone ‘mainly for business’. Another 1 in 8 used it ‘about equally’ for business and personal use, with the remaining three quarters using their phone ‘mainly for ‘personal’.    

But the proportion of ‘mainly business’ users has declined each year since then, hitting 7.4% in the year to September 2014. The proportion of people using the phone ‘about equally’ for business and personal use remained steady until a slight increase last year to 13.3%.

% of Australians using their mobile phone mainly or about equally for work

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2009 –September 2014, average annual sample = 14,324 Australian mobile phone owners 14+. Respondents who answered ‘I don’t know’ or provided no answer were excluded from the sample.

There are some big differences in usage habits between those whose phone is mainly for business or personal use. Business users make an average 58 calls and send 36 SMS texts per week, while Personal users make only 21 calls on average and send 43 texts.

Those who say their mobile usage is split between business and personal make an average 37 calls during the week (around the midpoint between the two with usage weighted one way or other), but actually send more texts (47) than the others.

Average number of calls and texts per week by Business or Personal mobile users:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2013 –September 2014, sample = 12,807 Australian mobile phone owners 14+. Respondents who answered ‘I don’t know’ or provided no answer were excluded from the sample.

Around three quarters of those who use their phone about equally for professional and personal reasons are paying for it themselves, with only 1 in 4 paid for by employers. Even so, when looking at mobile phone activities, these split Business and Personal users are actually more likely than ‘Mainly Personal’ users to play music or videos, listen to radio, and enter competitions or vote using SMS.

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Understanding the changing trends in mobile activities and usage allows telcos to develop plans that cater to a mix of both personal and business needs. The decline in the proportion of users who say their phone is used mainly for business suggests that people who once only needed it for work are now integrating it into their personal lives. 

”Of the main mobile service providers, Telstra has the customers most likely to be using their phone mainly for Business, Virgin’s and Vodafone’s are the most likely to be mainly Personal users, while those with Optus are the most likely to be split.”    

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Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
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