The digital Swiss Army knife: Making calls now well down the list of smartphone uses, survey says

 It may not come as too much of a shock to learn that making calls is not the most common use of a smartphone, but just how little people use it to speak with friends, family and colleagues may be a little surprising.

The mobile phone was once not smart at all, and until relatively recently used primarily for making calls and sending text messages. The idea of using it to listen to music, play games or surf the web was just that – an idea. But then along came the iPhone, followed by a slew of competing devices, and everything changed.

A survey by UK wireless carrier O2 of 2,000 British smartphone users found that people now spend far more time doing other things on their handset than actually making calls. O2’s survey revealed that smartphone owners spend most time surfing the web – an average of almost 25 minutes a day. Next up was social media activities, taking up 17.5 minutes of each day.

Listening to music and playing games each came in at around 15 minutes a day, while making calls was fifth in the list, at just 12 minutes a day.

Other uses included sending emails, texting, watching TV shows and movies, reading books and taking photos.

Commenting on the results, O2’s David Johnson said: “Smartphones are now being used like a digital ‘Swiss Army knife’, replacing possessions like watches, cameras, books and even laptops.”

The survey formed part of the wireless carrier’s ‘All About You’ report commissioned to mark the launch of Samsung’s latest box of tricks (aka the Galaxy S3). Owners of this high-end feature-packed handset will doubtless see ‘making calls’ slipping even further down O2’s list of uses.

O2’s research also found that more than half of respondents (54 percent) now use their handset in place of an alarm clock, while 46 percent have done away with their watch altogether in favor of their smartphone. Thirty-nine percent use it as their main camera, 28 percent use it instead of a laptop and 6 percent even prefer to watch TV on it rather than on a conventional set.

So what of your digital Swiss Army knife? Had you almost forgotten it had a mouthpiece for talking to other people, or is making calls still your main use for it?

[Image: iQoncept / Shutterstock]

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