Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Would we be literally lost without our phones? Without satellites to pinpoint where we are and mobile apps and websites to tell us which way to go? The number of Australians using a mobile phone to access online maps and directions has increased almost ten-fold in the last five years, new data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

In the year to June 2010, back when only around two million of us had a smartphone, 423,000 Australians 14+ (2.4%) looked up maps or directions online via mobile phone in an average four week period—but 4.35 million had used a computer for the purpose.

Today, around 12 million Australians have a smartphone and almost four million have used one to access maps or directions online. However, despite declining from a peak of over five million in the year to June 2012, more of us (over 4.5 million) still use a computer.

Lost without you: Australians using mobiles or computers to get maps:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2009 – June 2014, average annual sample = 51,311 Australians 14+

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

“Accessing maps and getting directions is an online activity that is a natural fit for mobile phones. We have all noticed increasing numbers of people are walking the city streets holding their phones in one hand, whilst avoiding pedestrians, cars, trams and buses and keeping their eyes open for their destination. A few years back we used to print the maps, now we just follow the directions. However although the majority of us now has a smartphone, computers remain the more common tool for accessing maps or directions online, perhaps at work or at home on the weekends —although if the trend continues, this may well change in the next year.

“With multiple devices now available for us to perform the range of online activities, we innately begin to prioritise which device is used for what purpose and when.

“To maximise the uptake of digital products and services, businesses and advertisers with a cross-device presence will need to keep a close eye not only on their reach among online consumers, but on which devices consumers are currently (or will soon be) using for different activities.” 

Contact Profile

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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