Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

·       Almost 40 per cent of respondents own a tablet, up from 16 per cent in 2011

·       Satisfaction with carrier services remains low

·       Apple dominates with iPhone and iPad the most popular handset and tablet respectively

·       Application use continues to rise

Sydney, 27 September 2012 – AIMIA today released the independent findings of the 2012 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index (AMPLI). Each year the survey provides valuable independent information and identifies trends regarding the preferences of Australian mobile phone users. This year’s report also looks at the impact of tablets on mobile phone use.

Dr Marisa Maio Mackay, Director of Complete the Picture Consulting, the official research partner for the 2012 AMPLI report, said, "Given the emerging use of tablets, the full story on the relationship between mobile phone and tablet use is still evolving. We’re seeing phenomenal growth in tablets, but of course smartphone usage is still on a steady incline.” 

“What’s most interesting from this year’s report is that we’re seeing potential for the mobile phone and the tablet to be complementary devices. This is exciting news for developers and brands with cross platform ideas. When we asked people to predict how they expected to use their phones in future, there was not a huge difference between tablet owners and non-tablet owners,” said Dr Maio Mackay.

Impact of Tablets on Mobile Phone Use

Each year the AMPLI report includes a special topic in addition to its core set of questions. This year’s topic was the ‘Impact of Tablets on Mobile Phone Use’.

·       38 per cent of respondents reported they owned a tablet, representing a substantial increase from last year’s figure of 16 per cent

·       An additional 33 per cent of 2012 Survey respondents were planning to purchase a tablet within the next 12 months. Interestingly, when looking back at last year’s report, results suggest that most of the 2011 “planned” purchases translated to actual purchases and ownership in 2012

·       Based on these results the forecast for tablet ownership is 50 per cent by December 2012 and 71 per cent by mid-2013.

Apple iPads were clearly the most popular brand of tablets with just over 75 per cent of tablet owners owning an iPad. Just under half of the respondents had both WiFi and 3G enabled tablets, while 50 per cent of the respondents had WiFi only enabled tablets.

The most frequent uses of the tablet were:

·       To visit websites and/or browse or search the internet (75 per cent of all tablet owners)

·       To get information (70 per cent of all tablet owners)

·       For entertainment purposes (65 per cent of all tablet owners)

·       Sending and receiving emails (56 per cent of all tablet owners)

The introduction of the tablet has had some impact on mobile phone use. Approximately one third of respondents who owned a tablet reported their use of the mobile phone for getting information, for entertainment and for visiting websites and/or browsing or searching the Internet has decreased as a consequence of buying a tablet. However, other respondents (approximately 12-13 per cent) reported an increase in the use of their mobile phone for the same purposes since acquiring their tablets.

The popularity of tablet apps has not impacted the level of website visits on tablets. Websites are still being visited by almost all respondents on the Tablet.

Smartphone ownership increases

Not surprisingly, this year’s report sees another increase in the percentage of respondents who own a smartphone. Seventy six per cent of all respondents own a smartphone, up from 67 per cent in 2011.

Of those respondents who do not own a smartphone, 40 per cent plan to purchase one in the next 12 months. Based on the survey results, 80 per cent of respondents would own a smartphone by end of 2012 and 84 per cent would own a smartphone by mid-2013.


The results show a clear and steady increase in the popularity of Apple handsets over the last four years. Samsung and HTC phones have experienced much slower growth, while many of the other brands have been losing market share.

Banking and shopping online growing in popularity

With the continual steady increase in smartphone use across the Australian population, a new wave of users is discovering the potential to use their phones for online banking and shopping.

Dr Maio Mackay said, “By looking specifically at the habits of frequent users when analysing results, we can start to pinpoint emerging trends. The results this year indicate a growing group of people using banking almost as though it’s an embedded function of their phone. Almost 40 per cent of respondents are using their phones for banking at least once a week, an increase of about 15 per cent since last year.”

Carrier Satisfaction Remains Low

Last year’s AMPLI survey saw satisfaction levels for almost every service type decrease considerably when compared to previous years. The 2012 results have remained at a fairly similar level to last year, with minimal evidence of recovery.  However, this year’s results show substantial variation in satisfaction across the carriers when it came to specific services.

For example:

·       Satisfaction with Virgin was considerably higher for almost all services when compared to other carriers, except for network coverage

·       Satisfaction with Telstra’s network coverage was an obvious standout for the carrier and also when compared other providers

·       Vodafone experienced substantially lower levels of satisfaction compared to the other carriers for overall satisfaction, customer service, network coverage and content and services available via the carrier’s portal. These results are most likely an outcome of the network issues the carrier has experienced over the last year.

Application Use Continues to Increase

Seventy seven per cent of all respondents indicate they access websites and/or applications on their mobile phone. As a percentage of these respondents, 86 per cent use a combination of both websites and applications.

Sixty nine per cent stated they had downloaded and installed an application on their mobile phone. This represents a substantial increase from 55 per cent in 2011 and 41 per cent in 2010.

For the first time this year respondents were asked to report the average number of applications used per week. Results found that approximately half of the respondents were using between two and five applications on average per week, while just over a third of respondents were using more than six applications.


Fewer than 12 per cent of respondents were using one application or less per week, which indicates those that are downloading and installing applications are engaging quite frequently with a range of applications. The most popular types of applications used by respondents were:

·       Maps and navigation (74 per cent)

·       Games (74 per cent)

·       News and weather (73 per cent)

·       Social networking (71 per cent)


Of those respondents who had downloaded and installed applications to their mobile phones, 59 per cent stated they had paid to do so. This is consistent with last year’s results (60 per cent), but represents an increase from 2010 (52 per cent).


Popularity of Information Services and Social Networking

·       Weather and news were the most popular information services accessed in terms of frequency of use

·       Around one third of respondents were high-level users of weather, (38 per cent) and news (33 per cent) information on their mobile phones, accessing these services at least once a day.  Approximately 30 per cent were medium-level users who access the information once a month or more

·       Maps/location and traffic information were equally popular, but used less frequently.


High-Level Fequency (use at least once a day, or at least 5 times a day)

Medium-Level Frequency (use at least once a week, or at least once a month)


Approximately 60 per cent of respondents reported they used some form of social networking sites or applications on their mobile phones. Facebook was found to be the most popular social networking site or application (59 per cent), with Twitter being a distant second (26 per cent).

Mobile Phones play a role in Purchasing Decisions

For the first time, this year’s survey looked at how Australians are using their mobile phones to make purchase decisions. The results show approximately 40 per cent of respondents use their mobile phone to compare prices online and to look at product or service reviews before making a purchase decision.

Acceptance of advertising on the rise

Compared to last year there has been an increase in the overall proportion of respondents who had opted in to receive SMS or MMS messages from businesses; from 47 per cent last year to 57 per cent this year.


The overall average level of engagement was 54 per cent. This means that if the respondents saw an advertisement, there was just over 50 per cent chance that they would engage. Conversely there is just less than 50 per cent (i.e., 46 per cent) chance that they would not engage.

The AMPLI report is a collaborative industry research project carried out by the Mobile Industry Group (MIG), a special interest group of AIMIA. The report is authored by official research partner Complete the Picture Consulting. The official sponsors of the AMPLI report are Nokia, BigPond, Zeus Unwired and the Mnet Group.

Contact Profile

the AMPLI Survey

This research is the eighth survey of the longitudinal analysis of mobile phone behaviour, usage and preferences. The first report was delivered in August 2005, the second in May 2006, the third in March 2007, the fourth in August 2008, the fifth in September 2009, the sixth in October 2010 and the seventh in October 2011. As well as the core questions, there are topical questions included in the survey that change with each edition.

The special topic of this survey, decided by the Mobile Industry Group, was Impact of Tablets on Mobile Phone Use. Previous special topics have included ‘Mobile Phone Advertising and Marketing’, ‘3G Mobile Phone Ownership’, ‘Mobile Advertising’, ‘Communities and User-generated Content’, ‘Mobile Commerce’ and ‘Mobile Phone Applications’.

This project is the only independent and open study of the Australian market that has been carried out with the support of major industry partners. The sample size used for this analysis was 1,784 respondents, which is a strong response rate. The results of the 2012 Survey sample can be generalised to Australian mobile phone owners between 18 and 75 years of age.

Founded in 1992, AIMIA is the peak industry body for Digital Content, Services and Applications in Australia. AIMIA is devoted to the commercial development of the industry as a whole and to the commercial development of the distinct AIMIA members and AIMIA member groups. See www.aimia.com.au
Jennifer Jefferys on or
P: 02 9469 5700
W: www.aimia.com.au/ampli


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