Monday, June 20th, 2016 - Roy Morgan Research

Once upon a time we could actually function without a smartphone. Somehow we managed to travel, stay safe, leave work, make social plans and generally stop our lives from spiralling out of control without one. But for more and more Australians, smartphones aren’t just a handy tool, they’re now necessary for everyday living.

45% of Australian smartphone owners (14+) say they can’t live without their mobiles, Roy Morgan Research data for the 12 months to March 2016 shows.

Sure, smartphones are useful for a range of things – but a majority of smartphone owners agree they need it to help them juggle work and personal life (63%), for their personal security (59%), or to help them co-ordinate their social lives (54%). 

Although not quite a majority viewpoint, 44% of smartphone owners need the device when travelling overseas, and 41% need to be contactable at all time for work. Over a third of smartphone owners (36%) agree they need it to give them more control over their lives.

Why smartphone owners need them

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2015 – March 2016, sample n = 9,978 Australians 14+ with a smartphone as their main mobile phone.

Half of Apple owners can’t live if living is without their iPhones (50%). Other handset owners are a bit less needy, including users of a Samsung (42%), HTC (43%), or LG (45%) smartphone, while the least hooked are those with a Nokia (34%), Sony (37%) or Huawei (37%).

‘I can’t live without my….’


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2015 – March 2016, sample n = 9,978 Australians 14+ with a smartphone as their main mobile phone.

Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:

Even the earliest smartphone adopters were quick to forget how they ever survived without one. The proportion of owners agreeing they ‘can’t live without it’ has been fairly steady at just under half for the past five years—a rate around three times higher than among ‘dumb phone’ owners asked the same question.

“As smartphone ownership has rapidly increased, so too has the number of us who feel dependent on a mobile phone. Today there are almost seven million Australians carrying around a smartphone they say they couldn’t live without.  

“Smartphones are so firmly mainstream that even 60% of Technophobes from our Technology Adoption Segments now own one. This means, of course, that handset makers have a much wider range of consumer segments to target, and more opportunities to find, define and own a position in the market.  

“For example, Huawei smartphone owners are among the least likely to say they can’t live without it or need it. They are less likely to use many of the different smartphone services we monitor including taking photos, playing music and games, streaming videos, using GPS and Bluetooth functions, and downloading and using different apps. They are the most likely handset owners to be using a pre-paid service (around twice as likely as average), they have lower data allowances, and are less label-conscious or trusting of well-known brands.

“This is a segment of Older Tech Explorers and Technology Traditionalists who may not be top-of-mind for other handset makers but are customers nonetheless – and a third of the population.” 

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Roy Morgan Research

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
P: 03 9224 5332






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