The adoption of mobile devices for personal use is well documented but less is known about their use at work. An "IDG Global Solutions" (IGS) survey found a growing overlap between home and work use among participants in 43 countries.
Forty-one percent use their private smartphone for business while almost as many use a tablet (37%). Private/business tablet use ran as high as 59% in Asia Pacific and Latin America to 36% in North America and 29% in Western Europe. As for smartphones supported by an organization’s IT department, Asia Pacific and Latin America led the way followed by Eastern Europe and North America.
The 25,601 respondents to an online survey fielded from March to May 2013 said they rely heavily on both devices to read email (93%-94%) and download or use mobile apps (67%-71%). They are also actively seeking industry news and conducting research about technology issues and products. The questionnaire was posted to 120 IDG tech media sites worldwide that attract both consumers and IT professionals.
When asked if a tablet is their primary computer, respondents in Middle East/Africa led the way at 43% followed by respondents in Latin America and Asia Pacific at around 30% each. Users in North America and Western Europe came in at 19% and 18%, respectively.
On average, 56% of smartphone users use their devices to make purchases and 73% of tablet users make purchases with their devices, but in each case the vast majority buy personal products or services rather than those intended for work purposes.
A few regional figures stand out: 75% buy with a smartphone in North America and 84% purchase with a tablet. In every region, a majority of tablet users said they have made a purchase with their device. At the information gathering stage, 33% of smartphone users click or interact with an advertisement and almost 21% do so on a tablet.
"Mobile and tablet are becoming the preferred media consumption devices and are relied upon as users move from research to purchase," says Christina Carstensen, director, Mobile Strategy at IDG Global Solutions, based in the UK. "Users expect an experience tailored for a mobile screen when they access content on the go, so mobile optimization will be important for both marketers and media companies."
Many respondents currently without a tablet will not be so for much longer as 47% said they plan to buy one within the year.
"These findings should remove some of the doubt over the impact of mobile ads and the hesitancy to spend more on mobile marketing," says Matthew Yorke, CEO, IDG Global Solutions. "Markets outside the United States should not be ignored for both the fast adoption of mobile and as trendsetters for other countries."
Video viewing on tablets soared compared to that reported in last year’s IGS research. A full 90% of respondents report watching videos on their tablets, up 24% over 2012. Ninety-one percent watch YouTube videos, 75% movies/TV shows, 47% how-to/training, and 40% videos/webcasts related to their jobs.