Business smartphone revolution well under way, O2 claims

7 Jun 2011

Some 90pc of business people in Ireland use their smartphones for email, 60pc use their devices for online purchases and close to 40pc use their smartphones to receive breaking news, highlighting what O2 claims is a business smartphone revolution.

The study surveyed 151 Irish business smartphone users during March/April.

Four out of five Irish business people have recommended to friends or colleagues that they should use a smartphone, according to a new survey by Telefónica Ireland, which operates the O2 brand in Ireland.

“This is a truly remarkable finding and suggests that we are in the middle of a business smartphone revolution that is being driven by users,” commented Gary Disley, head of business marketing, Telefónica Ireland.

Smartphones are now the most common source of breaking news for business users during the day, with 37pc saying this. Twenty-four per cent access breaking news on their laptop PC; 20pc on their desktop and 11pc by radio.

Sixty per cent of business users have used their smartphones to make online purchases over the last year, such as parking, travel, books and other.

The O2 survey finds that 61pc of respondents have a laptop with mobile broadband. Of these, 81pc use their smartphones mainly for email when out of the office while almost one in five (19pc) are more likely to use their laptop.

Ninety per cent of all respondents use their smartphones for email. Outside of calls and texting, email is the most popular use of a smartphone, cited by 13pc. Some 11pc use it mostly for the camera/photos, 10pc mainly use it for web browsing/surfing, 10pc use it to access music, 9pc for online general/business news and the same number use it mainly to keep up with social media, such as LinkedIn.

Nearly half (49pc) have bought their smartphones in the last 12 months. Fifty-two per cent of respondents have an iPhone, 34pc an Android and 14pc a BlackBerry.

In terms of what motivates business smartphone purchasers, 15pc say choice of apps, 12pc say cost of the device, 12pc cite camera/picture quality, 11pc are influenced by the cost of the monthly plan, 10pc by network quality and 10pc by brand name.

It’s not all work and no play

Respondents were asked for their favourite business and personal apps. On the business side, popular apps varied widely from spreadsheets and document readers, to airport, weather and currency apps.

Facebook is the most popular personal app. On the games side, Angry Birds leads the way. There were honourable mentions for other games apps, such as Alchemy, Dog Whistle 1.6 and Stick Cricket, while one respondent “can’t stop playing” Tiny Wings for iPhone. More sports-focused users mentioned MapMyRun, O2 Rugby and PGA Tour. Movie fans love IMDB.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years