How Much Do People Spend Using Smartphones & Tablets?

by Net Future Institute on April 3, 2013

By Chuck Martin

Sometimes there are logical misperceptions around mobile.

Many believe that more people own iPhones than Android phones, though many pieces of research show that Android is the clear market share leader.

Some don’t see NFC (near field communications) catching on any time soon, though research shows 500 million NFC-enabled phones will hit the market next year.

Regarding commerce, one of the most common comments I hear is about how consumers will not trust mobile for spending significant amounts of money. The thinking goes: “I may use my phone to search or research, but would never buy anything expensive using my phone.”

With this in mind, I came across an intriguing tidbit buried inside the recent 15miles/Neustar Localeze Sixth Annual Local Search Study. While the study focused primarily on search, it highlighted the spending patterns on smartphones and tablets compared to those made on PC/laptops.

  • For amounts of money spent, slightly more people spent over $500 on both smartphones (8%) and tablets (7%) than on PCs (5%).
  • In the $100 to $499 range, more people (32%) spent that amount on smartphones compared to those (26%) on PCs.
  • In the $50 to $99 range, the spending patterns were the same for tablets and PCs, with 22% spending on both devices.
  • In the smallest amount spent category, $1 to $49, more spent on PCs (47%) compared to tablets (39%) but about the same (46%) on mobile phones.

Granted, this is just one study but could be an indicator that maybe purchase patterns in general will become the same, no matter the device.

We already know that despite the increasing number and improving quality of apps, many consumers still use their phones as windows to mobile websites.

We’ll be on the lookout for more research on this. Meanwhile, I’m curious, how much would you spend using your phone or tablet and where do you see spending patterns heading?

   Chuck Martin is editor of mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk. He is author of “The Third Screen,” “The Smartphone Handbook,” and the soon-to-be-published “Mobile Influence.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute and a frequent mobile keynote speaker around the globe.


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