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Surveys Delve into Mobile Habits

Thu, 05/17/2012 - 9:18am
Monica Alleven

Two studies were released today addressing the mobile habits of consumers, and both of them seem to have something to do with “killing time” or otherwise entertaining oneself while waiting for something else.

MocoSpace, which bills itself as the “leading games destination on the mobile Internet,” announced results of a new “Y U Play” survey conducted on its network of more than 25 million users. The poll points to two of the most popular reasons people play mobile games: boredom and to have fun. 

Fully 34 percent of respondents said they played games on their mobile phone because “the games are fun” while 32 percent said they played due to “bored/kill time.” Other reasons people play are for the competitive factor; they want to meet new people; they’re trying something new; they want to flirt (of course); or they want to connect with friends.

Separately, the research firm iGR published its latest stats about what people are doing with their mobile phones, including while in the bathroom. (Earlier this month, Yahoo shared results of a survey in which a third of the men said they frequently take their tablet into the bathroom to read news, email or IM.)

iGR’s survey included more serious questions about Wi-Fi, tablets, applications, LTE and so forth, but in a commentary, iGR President Iain Gillott made no bones about the fact that the bathroom question seems to garner a lot of attention. A few years ago, the research firm asked people about their mobile phone/bathroom habits and the resulting newsletter was the most popular they had put out. So when the firm conducted another major survey of U.S. consumers at the beginning of this month, they figured it was worth adding a question about bathrooms. “Heck, if the last newsletter was our most popular, why not repeat it?,” he said.

Of those surveyed, 43 percent said they sent or received texts in the bathroom, while 21 percent said they had sent or received email. Some 22 percent had sent or received a voice call, down significantly from the same question a few years ago, and 20 percent played a game on their phone while in the bathroom. Just 10 percent listened to music.

Apple iPhone users are 20 percent more likely to be playing a game or listening to music in the bathroom as other smartphone users, and it was no real surprise that BlackBerry users are 16 percent more likely to be using email.

“This one I cannot explain: LG and Nokia phone users are 42 percent and 74 percent less likely to be using phones in the bathroom than other brand users,” he said, adding that Apple, HTC and BlackBerry users are the most active phone users in the bathroom.

And the best news of all? Gillott said that 41 percent of people said they had not used their phone in the bathroom.

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