How American generations use smartphones

People continue to engrain smartphones further into their lives, relying on them for communication and many other activities. No single communication mode has reached singularity, and instead the top activities include text messaging, personal email, and even personal phone calls. Later generations have the highest regular use of social networking activity, while earlier generations are increasingly using smartphones for online shopping and banking. Video calls have only emerged as a top activity among one generational group.

This MetaFAQ reports on how Americans use smartphones. It shows the percentage of Americans doing any of the top ten smartphone activities. Further, it compares these percentages to how smartphone users use them worldwide. For Americans, it also splits these activities by generational group, identifying each group’s top ten activities and the three activities that have expanded the most since 2019. Report [TUP_doc_2024_0212_spac] in TUP Lenses: Devices; PCs; Mobile Phones; Activities; Communication

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Remote workers pay their own phone bills

Most remote workers cover their smartphone costs, even for work use. That is true regardless of whether they use their smartphones for work-related activities. For a fraction of workers whose fees are curtailed by the employer, workers in the UK have the highest share of being supported for their 2nd smartphone, with workers in Germany being a close second. Workers in Japan have the highest share of reimbursement for their primary smartphone. This compares to the related finding that home computers used for work are also primarily paid for by the worker, not the employer.

This MetaFAQs reports on the percentage of online workers– full-time, part-time, or self-employed– who have their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd smartphone’s fees paid for or reimbursed by their employer, for the US, Germany, UK, Japan, and China. Report [TUP_doc_2024_0207_empc] in TUP Lenses: Mobile Phones; Work/Life Balance

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Employers lag in home computer provisioning

More workers use a home computer for work than use an employer-provided computer. With the onset of the pandemic, employees and employers alike suddenly scrambled for ways to get their work done. For many employees, especially knowledge workers, having access to a computer is vital. However, not all employers have supported remote workers by providing a computer, and instead have relied on employees using their home computers. Currently, in all countries surveyed except for the UK, more workers use a home PC for work-related activities than use a work computer.

This MetaFAQs reports on the percentage of remote workers and non-remote workers who use a home computer for work-related activities or use an employer-provided PC, across the US, Germany, UK, Japan, and China. Report [TUP_doc_2024_0129_hwpc] in TUP Lenses: PCs; Activities; Work/Life Balance

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Half of Americans use a smartphone for work

During the pandemic, the rapid flight to health, safety, and remote work caught many employers’ IT departments unprepared. Many workers did not have employer-provided computers or even home-owned ones, although the majority had smartphones. At the same time, much of the online population was already migrating many of their everyday activities away from computers to smartphones. Consequently, roughly half of online adults in the US and UK, and over 40% of those in Germany and Japan, regularly use their smartphones for work-related activities.
This MetaFAQ reports on the percentage of online adults that use a smartphone for a range of work-related activities, from checking email and participating in online meetings to phone and video calls. Report [TUP_doc_2024_0123_spwt] in TUP Lenses: Mobile Phones; Activities; Communication; Work/Life Balance

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Modern communication shifts to coalesce around three modes

Communication methods have evolved over the past few decades. While landlines were once predominant, they’ve now taken a back seat. Asynchronous communication, like email, offers the advantage of connecting without simultaneous availability, often more convenient and effective. Text messaging, in particular, has experienced a significant rise, now standing as a leading communication method alongside emails.

Interestingly, while smartphones are labeled “”phones,”” their initial use leaned more toward texting than calling. However, synchronous communication methods are making a comeback on these devices. Email, text messaging, and phone calls share nearly equal user numbers, showcasing varied preferences among users.

Our communication choices often depend on reciprocation, given its two-way nature. As a result, user groups may flock together toward specific communication modes, either adopting new methods or moving away from older ones.

Later generations, specifically Gen Z, have been experimenting with alternative communication modes beyond email, texting, and phone calls, only recently returning to levels nearly as high as those before the onset of the pandemic. Earlier generations have increased their use of these three communication modes even while navigating a shift from computers to smartphones.

This TUPdate reports on the share of online adults using their connected devices for any of the three major communication activities – personal phone calls, emails, or text messages. It reports on the trends from 2017 through 2023, highlighting the shifts that took place following the onset of the pandemic. Furthermore, it details the differences in communication behaviors between generational age groups. Report [TUP_doc_2023_1212_comt] in TUP Lenses: Activities; Communication

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Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. It may not be used with a generative AI system without separate licensing and express written permission. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

Half of Americans use a smartphone for work

Half of Americans use a smartphone for work – Over half of online American adults utilize smartphones for various work tasks, from emails to videoconferencing. One in six American workers relies solely on a smartphone. Another quarter have all three: a smartphone, computer and tablet, and 80% of these rely on smartphones for work activities. Interestingly, half lack employer-provided computers.

This MetaFAQs reports on the percentage of online adults regularly using a smartphone for work-related activities. Report [TUP_doc_2023_1125_spwr] in TUP Lenses: Mobile Phones; Activities; Communication; Work/Life Balance

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Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. It may not be used with a generative AI system without separate licensing and express written permission. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

Modern communication shifts to coalesce around three modes

Communication methods have evolved over the past few decades. While landlines were once predominant, they’ve now taken a backseat. Asynchronous communication, like email, offers the advantage of connecting without simultaneous availability, often more convenient and effective. Text messaging, in particular, has experienced a significant rise, now standing as a leading communication method alongside emails.

Interestingly, while smartphones are labeled “phones,” their initial use leaned more toward texting than calling. However, synchronous communication methods are making a comeback on these devices. Email, text messaging, and phone calls share nearly equal user numbers, showcasing varied preferences among users.

Meanwhile, group communication methods from shared platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack to video meetings hosted by Zoom and Webex have primarily met acceptance among a selected market subset.

Our communication choices often depend on reciprocation, given its two-way nature. As a result, user groups may flock together toward specific communication modes, either adopting new methods or moving away from older ones.

These trends offer invaluable insights for telecom companies, handset manufacturers, and those aiming to understand or influence consumer behaviors. The TUP data provides detailed information about communication preferences across different countries and generations, highlighting the frequency of use for email, text messaging, and phone calls among similar cohorts.

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Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. It may not be used with a generative AI system without separate licensing and express written permission. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.