Two thirds of Aussies own a smartphone

Summary:Nearly two thirds of the Australian population now own a smartphone, according to new research which shows more time is being spent online using the devices.

From ownership rates of 37 percent in 2011, penetration has soared to 64.6 percent, driven by a slew of new models, slicker operating systems, better software, and improving networks.

The Aussie ownership rate is higher than most other developed nations, including the US, the UK, Germany, and France, according to research by Google and marketing firm Ipsos.

Only the United Arab Emirates (73.8 percent of the population), Korea, (73 percent), Singapore (71.7 percent), and Norway (67.5 percent) have higher rates, according to the Our Mobile Planet 2013 report.

The fact that smartphones have reached such levels of ubiquity in Australia is not a massive surprise — it's been coming. Just over half of the Australian population owned one in 2012.

But the Google and Ipsos research confirms that we're using smartphones to do more.

Just over 70 percent now regularly watch videos on their devices, with 19 percent doing so every day, the research shows. And 41 percent of Australian smartphone owners said they've spent more time online with their device in the past six months.

The average user is now said to have 33 apps installed, and 49 percent use smartphones to access newspaper or magazine services.

A further 29 percent said they'd rather give up television than their smartphone.

Telstra chief technology officer Dr Hugh Bradlow said he believes the ownership rate will continue to rise.

"Australians are very fast adopters, and I attribute that to the fact we're a very spread-out country," he told AAP.

Dr Bradlow also predicts that by 2020, smartphones will be used to pay for goods and act as car and house keys, as well as making good old-fashioned telephone calls.

It comes as another report shows that smartphone manufacturers Samsung and Apple both lost global market share over the past 12 months, though they remained the dominant players and shipped record numbers of units.

Data published by the IDC research group showed that Samsung currently has 30.4 percent of the global smartphone market, down from 32.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012.

Apple has 13.1 percent of the market, down from 16.6 percent.

Smaller players like LG, Lenovo, and ZTE all gained market share in the past 12 months.

Topics: Australia, Mobility

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